This is a Persian superstition that involves rue also known as espada the spice. When people start staying too many positive things about one person they will burn rue to not jinx the person they are complimenting. Someone will burn the rue and circle it around the person’s head. An example my informant gave me of this folklore is herself at a family reunion. At the reunion her family talks about how well she is doing during college and to not jinx her they’ll circle burning rue around her head.
Background & Context:
My informant is Persian-American and she has grown in Southern California. She is currently a senior at USC. I collected this piece of folklore in a casual setting one evening. For her this tradition is not something she uses in her daily life as she does not keep rue in her apartment at USC and nor is it something she necessary believes in nor disbelieves in. However when she is with more traditional family members, like her grandparents they will use rue as they believe in this superstition.
My final thoughts on this piece of folklore is that it is interesting and similar to other traditions. The similarities it has to other traditions is burning herbs or spices to ward off evil spirits or bad vibes. I also believe it is interesting how the mixing of two cultures affected the informant’s belief on traditional cultures that others in her family strongly believe in.