Superstitions

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Moscow Department of Education
Eastern Region

Superstitions

Moscow 2010
Superstitions

Contents
1. Introduction
2. History of superstitions
3. Typically Russian & British superstitions
4. Comparison of superstitions
5. Conclusion

Introduction

The subject of our scientific research is devoted to the superstitions, especially in Britain and Russia. In our work we are going to tell about typical omens of bad luck and lucky charms of these two countries and to find out common and different features of them.

The theme is also quite interesting from the point of the influence of superstitions on people. In addition we would like to draw attention to the originality of beliefs.

Working at this project we used different methods of research and study.

With the help of analyzing different sources of information, sociological poll, comparative analyses it came to light that the desire of people to know more about superstitions is enormous. They care about the history and the origin of them.

This work consists of five parts. One of them is introduction. Then there are three chapters and at the end there is a conclusion with a data, how superstitious people are nowadays.

The first chapter includes information about the history of the superstitions, particularly how and when they firstly began.

The second chapter is dedicated to the typically British & Russian superstitions.

The third part is connected with the comparison of English and Russian superstitions. In other words, we are going to compare them and to find out similarities and differences.

We hope that this project work could be interesting for people who are superstitious, interested in fate (= a power that controls everything) and in finding out what will happen to them in the future.

The word “superstition” means the irrational or absurd belief or fear that something we do or say may cause an event to occur that will affect us in the future.

There are two types of superstitions: Good Fortune (Good Luck) and Misfortune (Bad Luck).

The term superstition comes from the ancient language of Latin “superstitio”, meaning "to stand over in awe." The term is also related to the Latin word “superstes” ("outliving" or "surviving"), and in this sense refers to the remains of ideas and beliefs that continued long after their original meaning had been forgotten.

It would be true to say that most cultures around the world have their own particular superstitions and beliefs and many of them have been around for thousands of years and some are still around to this very day.

There are other words connected with superstition, such as Belief, Curse, Folklore, Hokum, Jinx and Omen. ~
How did superstitions begin?

Many people believe that superstitious beliefs originated during the earliest days of humanity. Faced with natural phenomena like thunderstorms and earthquakes, as well as the unpredictability of illness and food supply, human beings attempted to create an understandable world of powers that could be influenced by action. The earliest superstitions were created as a way to deal with the ignorance and fear of the unknown. Superstitions began centuries ago and based on general, culturally variable beliefs in a supernatural "reality". Our ancestors tried to explain mysterious circumstances or events, such as cemeteries, animals, demons, a devil, occupations, excessive scrupulosity, death, luck. For instance, before the development of science explained such strange things as why mirrors show our reflections or why shadows appear when it's sunny, ancient people reasoned that a shadow or reflection was part of their soul. If someone broke something onto which the shadow or reflection appeared, people believed that their soul was...
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