Eating yogurt before leaving the house


If you eat a spoonful of plain yogurt before leaving home for something important, it brings good luck – including job interviews, tests, long vacations, etc.


JG is 59 years old and my mother. She grew up in India with a very religious Hindu family, before immigrating to the USA. Her parents were spiritual and superstitious. As a child, she participated in lots of rituals that were believed to provide good luck.


I vaguely remember my mom doing this ritual with me when I was in elementary school. I had always assumed it was for nutritious purposes – because I know we give milk to kids to help them grow taller, and yogurt is processed milk. However, I was surprised to learn it’s part of a superstition. Lots of people incorporate small rituals into their routines, especially on important days.

Upon further research, I learned that another variation of this superstition is eating yogurt mixed with sugar. This one has a somewhat more logical explanation that is based in Ayurvedic tradition. In this way, it is a folk medicine practice. The yogurt is a coolant for the body and the sugar gives you instant energy.

There is no logical connection between eating yogurt and having a successful job interview, for instance (even if there’s a correlation, that does not always equal causation). But, we like to think there is one in order to relieve our anxiety. It makes us feel like we have control over the results in more ways than we actually do. Our decisions about what to do, especially on important days for us, aren’t always rooted in logic that can be proven.