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Korean Superstition – Hair cutting

It is bad luck to cut your hair or fingernails at night.

 

My informant first heard this superstition from his father some time during the late fifties in his hometown, the rural city of Daegu in Korea.  When he took out nail clippers from his drawer one night, his father ordered him to put it back in the drawer.  His father warned him that it was very bad luck to clip your nails at night.  Suk-Won’s father had learned from his father that at night crows lurk about and would pick up the discarded nails in their beaks and drop them off into the fields.  The nails would keep the seeds from sprouting and suck the nutrients out of the soil.  Afterwards there would be seasons without any good harvest.  The nails would have been easily accessible to the crows because Koreans who lived on farms during 1950’s and even now have paper doors that slide in their homes.  They do not have the hard wooden doors with knobs as we are accustomed to in America.

I do not believe that nails in the soil are detrimental to the growth of crops.  However, people in the countryside were sensitive about anything pertaining to their harvest because that was their only means of living.  Particularly living in the city nowhere near the action of agriculture, I do not heed this superstition at all since there.  Once again the Korean culture has an extremely negative view on the crow.  Farmers were superstitious that the crows would not only bring death through merely crowing in front of their homes but indirectly by preventing a successful harvest.

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