An Auspicious Day

Text: “An Indian superstition I grew up hearing is the belief in starting a new job or aspiration on a Monday or a Wednesday. I think the superstition somehow stems from Vaastu, which is Indian astrology. It involves adding up the numbers of a date to check if they correspond to a number considered lucky for that individual. For example, if the date was 04/21/24, then you would add up all the individual digits in that date: 4 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 4. Those numbers add up to 13, and if 13 is one of that individuals lucky birth numbers, then it is auspicious to start your work or your personal journey on that date. Typically, my family would choose Mondays or Wednesdays to commence new endeavors.”

Context: My informant – a 23-year-old man from Bangalore, India – explained this superstition to me that was passed down to him by his parents. It involves calculating the numerical value of a chosen date by adding up its digits and checking if the resulting number corresponds to a lucky birth number for the individual. If the number is indeed a match to that lucky number, then starting work or embarking on a personal journey on that date is considered favorable according to this belief system. This cultural tradition reflects the importance of astrology and numerology in Indian customs, where specific dates and days are believed to have varying levels of auspiciousness based on these calculations. My informant’s family tradition of choosing Mondays or Wednesdays for new endeavors highlights the continuity of such beliefs across generations within Indian families. While my informant said he isn’t entirely of the belief that this superstition carries much weight, he said that the importance of it to his family is the reason why he tends to begin his own work or personal journeys on Mondays or Wednesdays. 

Analysis: In exploring this Indian superstition, I was struck by the profound cultural and familial significance embedded within this belief system. The practice of choosing specific days, such as Mondays or Wednesdays, to commence new endeavors reflects a deeply rooted tradition shaped by astrology and numerology in Indian customs. My informant’s account underscores the intergenerational transmission of folklore and the enduring influence of family traditions. Despite personal reservations about the superstition’s efficacy, my informant continues to honor this practice out of respect for familial customs. This highlights the complex interplay between personal beliefs and cultural heritage, illustrating how folklore serves as a conduit for preserving and passing down cultural values across generations.

The superstition’s association with Vaastu, a form of Indian astrology, adds another layer of cultural depth, emphasizing the importance of harmonizing personal actions with cosmic energies for auspicious outcomes. By aligning with astrological beliefs about favorable planetary influences, individuals seek to enhance their chances of success and prosperity in their endeavors. Furthermore, my informant’s adherence to this superstition reflects broader cultural values of interconnectedness with the cosmos and the belief in personal agency within larger cosmic forces. The choice of auspicious days for new beginnings symbolizes a desire to harness positive energies and navigate life’s challenges in alignment with cosmic rhythms. It highlights the enduring significance of traditional beliefs and practices in shaping individual choices and perspectives, underscoring the rich tapestry of cultural heritage embedded within Indian folklore and the broader cultural landscape.