Since ancient times man has always been superstitious, attributing strange motives to things unknown to him.
After this “discovery channel” style introduction I begin the topic of some of the most popular superstitions in the Dominican Republic, yes, I know that I had previously written a topic called myths in the Dominican Republic, and I have also written about other similar topics.
But, on this topic, I would like to expose only the most popular superstitions. if you are Dominican or familiar with the Dominican culture, you will recognize each one of these superstitions, if you are a foreigner, it is very likely that you will be surprised.
These superstitions and beliefs are so deeply rooted in the people, that even today they are believed with faith, others are already popular beliefs that remain in the folklore of the people.
1-Interpretation of dreams as numbers
Unfortunately, in the Dominican Republic, there is a strong culture of gambling, especially in the poorer strata, I say unfortunately because, in reality, people spend more money on these games than they can recover in the hope of someday ” hitting the jackpot” (winning).
Specifically, I am referring to lottery games, in the Dominican Republic, there is a belief that dreams mean numbers that announce the winning numbers of the next day, people take this very seriously, it is something that you can not even refute or argue.
Let’s put it this way, if Freddy Krueger were a Dominican character, instead of slaying you, he would give you the winning lottery numbers for the next day.
Every object or situation in dreams has a number assigned to it, there are people who are “specialists” in deciphering dreams to play the lottery.
2- The witch’s wedding
This is one of the most popular superstitions in the Dominican Republic, whenever it rains and the sun is out it is a sign that a witch is getting married at that very moment.
Yes, the belief in witches in the Dominican Republic is something very real, that phrase of the witch getting married is something more of popular culture, but in many areas of the country, people believe in the existence of witches.
I have no idea where this superstition came from, but it is something normal to hear Dominicans say “a witch is getting married”, whenever it rains and the sun is out, I say it myself, just out of habit.
3- Good/bad luck attire
Actually, I don’t know if this is something worldwide, but in the Dominican Republic, there is an individual belief that some specific outfits are good or bad luck, I mean clothes, shoes, hats, etc.
I have seen this on many occasions, for example, in the professional baseball teams of the country, when a team is going through a very bad streak, their players wear their uniform socks over their pants to “break” the bad luck.
I know of other people who have a special shirt that they wear on special outings, such as interviews, appointments, etc, and I once knew of a case of a thief who wore the same pair of shoes on all his robberies “because it brought him good luck”.
As I said at the beginning, maybe this is something worldwide and normal everywhere, but it is a superstition that I have seen very often in the Dominican Republic.
4- Easter superstitions
There are many superstitions during holy week, most of them I learned from my grandmother, I remember that my grandmother always had a gallon of water kept next to her bed, one day I asked her what that gallon was, and she told me that it was holy water, that she had collected it in the first rain of holy week.
There is also a superstition that the first rain of May is healing holy water.
Another of the superstitions that I noticed during Holy Week, my grandmother would get up in total silence, early and did not speak, and she would signal me with her finger that I should not speak, she said that it was necessary to be silent the first hours of the morning.
Other holy week superstitions:
You can’t have sex
No bathing in the river
You cannot eat meat on Wednesdays and Fridays
And the most shocking, at least for me, the burning Judas, I do not know if this will be common in other towns and sectors of the Dominican Republic since I am speaking from my experience, but I remember that several times in the sector where I grew up, on Good Friday night a large mob of people marched by with a large burning doll (supposedly Judas).
That of the crowd celebrating and burning a doll (that almost looked like a person) gave me chills, it really contrasted a lot with the solemn atmosphere of holy week.
I remember when I was a child there were chants of invocation, one was to call the rain and another was to challenge the sea, I still remember those chants.
In one of those chants, we were so afraid to do it in front of the sea, because supposedly a giant wave would come up and sweep you away if you did it, once we did it in the Malecon of Santo Domingo and indeed a big wave broke against the coast (insert big laugh), we were so scared.
There are many other popular superstitions, I remember that some children used to make a very strange notch by flipping the eyelids of their eyes, I was terrified of them, but they said that if a rooster crowed while they were doing that, their face would stay deformed forever.
On another topic, I also commented that my grandmother used to tell me that the big black butterflies that entered the house announced the visit of someone, or represented the visit of a deceased family member.
I already wrote about the witches that suck children in the other topic, but that is another popular belief in the country, and it is a belief so strong and rooted, that in some towns they have tried to lynch or expel women for suspicion of being witches.
Many people in the Dominican Republic also believe in saints, but I don’t want to call that superstition so as not to disrespect the culture and beliefs of the people.
Do you know of any popular superstition of the Dominican Republic that I have overlooked? You can let me know in the comment box.