Kyungmee Lee, Staff Writer
Have you heard of Groundhog Day? It’s been a tradition in Punxsutawney, Pa. since 1887. Every Feb. 2, a group called Inner Circle holds a ceremony with a woodchuck, or Punxsutawney Phil. If Phil sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter, but if not, it means early spring. This year, spring will come soon according to Phil, who did not see his shadow. However, on that day, it was snowing in Pennsylvania. Moreover, it does not seem like it is going to get warmer. So should we believe Phil? Or is it just a superstition?
I do not believe in superstitions. Although some of them look quite acceptable, many are not reliable. A popular example is the horoscope. Every day, horoscopes are told by several different media and each says something slightly different from the others. There is a word for this belief: the Forer effect, which means people believe general descriptions as their personal ones. Horoscopes are vague, so that they can fit everyone. Superstitions are not very suitable in this modern society. Most of them are from a long time ago, when people relied on nature more than their knowledge and technology.
“It depends on what it is,” Vivianna Samite, a freshman psychology major said. “Black cat? No. But I throw salts on my shoulder when I spill them. Breaking [a] mirror: that’s what I’ll never do,” Samite added.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” Brooke Kubinski, a freshman nursing major, said.
There are still tons of long-standing superstitions, which most people follow. For example, if a person spills salts, he pinches some salts and throws it on the left shoulder to hold his luck. When someone sneezes, people say, “God bless you.” Knocking twice on wood means reverse bad luck. Superstitions vary in countries as well. In Greece, people never hand knives to others, unless they want to argue or fight with them. In Korea, people do not write names in red color because it means death. In Spain, people do not toast with a glass of water, or they will have seven years of bad sex.
Though I do not believe in superstitions, it is not bad to be careful. Regardless of the controversy over the truth about superstitions, at least we know that spring will come eventually!