Health Superstitions and Practices

“We’re not allowed to walk around barefoot in the house because you’ll supposedly get sick, there’s another thing we do where when you’re on your period your not supposed to drink cold water, after you have something that scares you, you’re not supposed to drink water, your supposed to eat a piece of bread or something, or when a kid gets hurt they’ll like sing “sana, sana, sana, colita de rana” which I think translates to “heal, heal, heal, frogs tail” but I’m not too sure.”

Background: The informant is from a latina household and says that she heard all these things from her mother when she was younger. She says that many of the practices were to prevent her from getting sick and her parents never explained the background of the superstitions, so she doesn’t know why her parents believed in such superstitions. 

Analysis: While the informant comes from a Latina household, some of the superstitions also align with superstitions from other cultures. Walking barefoot in the house is a very common superstition in households, most of the time believing it will result in the person catching a cold or getting sick. Drinking cold water is also believed to not be good for a person’s health by many people. So pinpointing the origins of these superstitions is highly unlikely.

However, the “sana, sana, sana, colita de rana” saying does come from Spanish speaking cultures. Its English translation doesn’t make much sense, but it is used by many Hispanic and Latino families. The purpose of this saying does not have any magical elements to it and is solely used to console children who have been hurt.