Superstition is a universal tendency. Indeed, there are traditions of good luck, or conversely, bad luck, in almost every culture! These beliefs are more or less important in everyday life, depending on cultures and the degree of superstition of each. In France, only 34% of the population defines itself as superstitious, according to a study by the FDJ*. Sensitivity to superstition would be correlated with age: in fact, nearly 54% of people under 35 consider themselves superstitious.
The appearance of superstitious beliefs dates back to the dawn of time, or rather to the cradle of Humanity! Indeed, these beliefs were primarily a way of explaining certain phenomena then incomprehensible to humans, as CeSCuP reports. Today, even though certain natural and even human phenomena have still not been fully clarified, superstition is also a defense mechanism against the anxiety of the unknown.
Conforming to certain traditions or superstitions can be, for some, a way to reassure themselves. This can give us the illusion that we have an influence on the course of events, however small. In a homeopathic dose, superstition can make you laugh or even give an excuse to perpetuate harmless traditions that we hold dear because they rocked our childhood. It is also a question of cultural identity: following certain traditions rather than others makes it possible to identify with and feel part of a particular culture.
Below are 15 New Year’s Eve superstitions from around the world.
* Survey conducted by Consumer Science and Analytics (CSA) among 2005 individuals aged 18 and over.