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Fan Death (wikipedia.org)
30 points by f_kai 9 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments



I've been living in Vietnam for almost a year, and there is a crazy amount of superstitions here. Some of them are eastern Asian, and some were proudly invented here.

- Number 4 is an unlucky number. 6 and 8 are lucky numbers. In fact, most wifi passwords here are 66668888 or 88888888.

- Don't stick the chopsticks in rice in the middle.

- Don't flip the fish as it mimics the fisherman's boat flipping.

- Burn a ton of stuff to help the diseased at Tet holiday.

- Don't boil the same water more than once.


> Don't boil the same water more than once.

This is common in the West [1], I do it, probably picked up from the Chinese around tea. I've also seen ice nerds talking about it in a positive way.

My conspiracy is when you have dirty water any memes that encourage boiling more water will proliferate. (Since you'll drink the old boiled water over collecting more from a stream)

[1] https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/23144234?searchTe...


For that 4th bullet, did you mean "hóa vàng"? I think the paper stuff that's burned symbolizes things that will be carried to the afterlife - where their ancestors/dead loved ones currently are. This is why you may find many modern objects like phones, cars or even houses in small paper forms ready to be hóa vàng-ed.


I know in Chinese "four" is pronounced: sì (四) - which sounds very similar to "death": sǐ (死).

There's some additional context about the numerology here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_numerology


i'm not any kind of Asian but I believe #2, chopsticks sticking out of your rice, is rooted in a belief that it resembles the incense burners that would be set up at a funeral - a sort of bad luck charm.


When I was a kid, my parents held the belief that if you keep lily flowers in a vase in a room with the windows closed overnight, and you sleep in that room, you will get a headache. The belief went on to state there is a small chance of death, for the presumed cause that the flowers somehow consume the oxygen in the room. As an adult, I never revisited this superstition; I don't buy flowers often, but my wife does. For some reason, neither one of us ever buys lilies. It could be that we both hold a remnant of this superstition deep inside our subconscious.


Well photosynthesis stops at night but metabolic activity doesn't, so presumably they consume oxygen. No idea how much though.


Plants consume CO2 and ‘exhale’ oxygen. They don’t consume it.


Plants do release a bit of CO2 during the night due to respiration, they need sunlight for photosynthesis to occur.


Italians have a similar superstition about being hit by gusts of wind, 'colpo d'aria'. Often sickness are attributed to it, but not death like this article.


I lived in an ashram for 3 months in south india. There were a lot of superstitions but the ones which were strangest to me was not being allowed to cut your nails after sundown and to never step over a sleeping dog.




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