Weirdest Holy Week Superstitions
Aside from the typical “visita iglesia” or the horrendously violent flagellation in some Philippine provinces, the solemnity of the Holy Week is marked by devout religious practices as well as outrageous beliefs. Even in these modern times, Holy Week superstitions still find their place in common households all over the world, and here are just some of the weirdest ones.
- Mum’s the word
Holy Week is definitely a solemn time for Catholic Christians, as it is used to reflect on the passion and resurrection of the Christ. Some old beliefs take the whole solemnity thing too far though, as it is said that unnecessary noise is forbidden during this time. Children are not allowed to watch television shows or listen to the radio, either!
- Lost and found
One of the weirdest Holy Week superstitions is the supposed travel ban despite it being a peak season for travelling. Old beliefs dictate that travelling during Holy Week causes more accidents and injuries than usual, and wounds you get during this time take a longer time to heal. Even more horrendous is the fact that if you do get lost during Holy Week, you won’t be found until Easter Sunday—and nothing ruins a perfectly good vacation than that.
- Things that go bump in the night
Oddly enough, old folk tales tell of evil spirits getting stronger and more powerful during Jesus Christ’s passion and death—which is typical because Holy Week superstitions tend to revolve around aswangs and evil monsters for some reason. To counter this kind of supernatural malevolence, people usually hang blessed palm leaves on the doors of their homes to ward off all the bad vibes and misfortune.
- Listen up, kids
Believed to scare children off or to force them to behave properly during Holy Week, it is said that kids are usually chastised even more during this time of discipline. On the morning of Black Saturday, kids are to wait before the town church bells ring, and are supposed to jump up high to help them grow taller. When night falls, on the other hand, they are to wake up at ten in the evening to chow down on some meaty grub—all to prevent them from going completely deaf.
- Dancing in the rain
There are no baths (or swimming) allowed on Good Friday at three in the afternoon, and you can’t do any laundry either. On Easter Sunday, however, water is a different story—if rain falls on this day, that kind of water just might have healing properties and it’s considered a remedy if you dance in the rain on Easter (you just might catch a cold, but who knows?).
- Snip, snip, snip
According to the Holy Week superstitions of the town of Bulalacao, any circumcision done on Black Saturday makes it less bloody. Boys are taken to a heavily forested area to undergo the procedure, and are forbidden to venture out after the snipping to keep from getting bitten by a snake—it just can’t get any more stressful than that!
- A little Easter whipping
The origin of Easter eggs is fascinating, but an Easter whip is even more intriguing. In the Czech Republic, women are usually whipped with willow branches during Easter—supposedly to make them healthier and more beautiful. The custom is done to purify the body and soul, and women can even expect to be doused with buckets of water for some good, clean fun. That certainly beats the summer heat, doesn’t it?
- Murder mysteries
There are plenty of amazing Easter customs and beliefs all over the world, and it is an Easter tradition in Norway to watch murder mysteries all day. This is such a big thing that television networks rearrange their Easter schedule and publishing companies release murder mystery books during this time precisely to accommodate the tradition. Even milk companies get in on the fun too—they release mini murder mysteries on the milk carton labels for the consumers to enjoy solving.
- Easter magic
A few peculiar British customs and traditions include Holy Week superstitions that involve food. Yes, we are all familiar with the no-meat thing (you can score some delectable seafood treats during Holy Week HERE), but in British beliefs, for instance, cakes or bread baked on Good Friday supposedly never go mouldy. Eggs laid on this day will never go bad, either. Fishermen usually don’t go out to sea in hopes of catching fish, and farmers are not supposed to plant any crops because no iron tool is allowed to enter the ground. Hot cross buns baked on Good Friday are magical, and a baby born on Good Friday (and baptized on Easter) has the gift of a healing touch. To top it all off, getting yourself a haircut on good Friday will keep those pesky toothaches at bay for the whole year. So, do you fancy a new hairstyle this Holy Week? Your teeth will definitely thank you for it!