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Posted on Thursday, August 17 - 2006

" © by M. B. Dassanayake Omens still predict both good and evil in Sinhalese society: Bathing on Sundays is said to spoil the bather’s appearance; bathing on Monday improves it; Tuesday - brings on disease, and Wednesday riches; Thursday - creates quarrels ..."

© by M. B. Dassanayake

Omens still predict both good and evil in Sinhalese society: Bathing on Sundays is said to spoil the bather’s appearance; bathing on Monday improves it; Tuesday - brings on disease, and Wednesday riches; Thursday - creates quarrels and if one bathes on Fridays his children will die; Saturday is deemed to be the most suitable day for bathing and is said to bring happiness. To face east or west while taking meals is supposed to bring good luck; money transactions held on full moon days bring ill luck.

Sinhalese – still a superstitious society : Ours is still a superstitious society and the commonest kind of superstitions prevailing among the Sinhalese are those which deal with omens, which they regard as prognostications, of both good and evil. Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are classed as unlucky, but for journeys Thursdays are the best unless they happen to be astrologically unfavourable. The best omen for a person setting out on a journey is for him to meet anyone carrying a pot of water, milk or white flowers first. But it is unlucky to meet those with shaven heads or with their hair (konde ) loose, as a sign of mourning, or those with great physical defects or a woman carrying a pot or ‘chattie’. It is also considered unlucky for a person to stumble against something or to be interrogated as to his destination at the outset of the journey.

Tradition: Bathing on Sundays is said to spoil the bather’s appearance; bathing on Monday improves it; Tuesday - brings on disease, and Wednesday riches; Thursday - creates quarrels and if one bathes on Fridays his children will die; Saturday is deemed to be the most suitable day for bathing and is said to bring happiness. To face east or west while taking meals is supposed to bring good luck; money transactions held on full moon days bring ill luck. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays are bad for visiting, and July is considered to be an unlucky month for weddings just as May is in England. Talking of weddings, there is a strange ancient custom followed still in "bringing home the bride" - the bride is obliged to walk in front of her husband, always keeping in his sight; the traditional reason given for this is that once a bridegroom who had walked in front had had his bride carried off from behind him before he was aware of it, and the newly made husband is not very eager for history to repeat itself in his case at least...


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