Chinese Superstition: Clipping Toenails at Night

  1. My mother shared with me another Chinese superstition;

“My mom told me when I was a young girl that I should never clip my toenails when it is dark outside. Not only is it considered unlucky, but most specifically she said it would invite an evil spirit into our household. When you cut your toenails, the clippings themselves will manifest this evil spirit. I think that’s because toenails, teeth, and fingernails are considered bad omens that are related to the dead in our culture.”

  1. My mom remembered hearing this from her mother when she was a very young girl. She had wanted to cut her nails one night but her mother came in frantically stopping her from doing so. This is when she explained the superstition to her and she has believed in it ever since. Especially since she remembers how panicked her mother was about this, this superstition has always stuck with her.
  2. This was a superstition my mom’s side of the family shared amongst themselves. I believe that superstitions similar to this one vary depending on the culture they’re from, but I am sure that there are similar ones to this that are shared amongst other families.
  3. I personally do not believe in this superstition since I have cut my nails late at night before, and nothing has happened to me that I have noticed. Possibly if I was stopped before cutting my nails own nails in the evening, like my mother was, I may have been dissuaded from trying it in the future. Ever since this event my mother has not cut her nails in the evening, but she did not share this superstition with me until recently.