The Superstitious of Singapore Runners

Are you a runner that believes all kinds of superstitions? Those who believe in superstitions don't realise that it actually shapes the way they think and live.

Not everyone believes in superstitions at first. Some don't even believe it at first till coincidentally something happened and make them believe that it is true. Some believe it because they want or prefer to be on the safe side before something happens to them.

Here are some of the superstitions that Singaporeans believes in.

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1. Never run on a Thursday night after 7 p.m.

I'm pretty sure a lot of Malay kids would have heard of this from their parents. The adults often tell it to their children that if they were to go out after 7 p.m., there will be a pontianak waiting in the trees.

Who would want to encounter with a pontianak, isn't it? It will be such a terrifying experience.

2. Never Run at Night During 7th Month Hungry Ghost Festival

They say if you want to get possess, then you should run at night during the 7th month Hungry Ghost Festival. As the last rays disappear over the horizon, the devilish spirits roam the earth in full force, looking for some unsuspecting soul to possess.

Scary, isn’t it? More of a reason for you to stay home at night during the 7th month Hungry Ghost Festival.

3. Running and whistling at night

If you are a firm believer of paranormal, then you might want to take note of this and avoid whistling at night. It is said if you whistle at night, you will attract the unwanted attention of lingering spirits which will end up hanging around you after.

You wouldn’t want that to happen, right? Especially if you are living alone.

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4. Pointing of finger at the moon while running

Have you ever got scolded by your friends or parents for unconsciously pointing your finger at the moon? The Chinese people would have probably heard of it because the Chinese culture believes that there’s a mythological character that lives on the moon and pointing your finger directly at the moon, especially the full moon, is considered rude and will get cut off while you are sleeping at night.

5. Hidden Treasure in MacRitchie

Ever heard of the hidden treasure in MacRitchie? During the Japanese Occupation, it was rumored that the Imperial Japanese Army hid a huge amount of treasure and gold in the thick jungles of MacRitchie Reservoir. Wow, gold and treasure? Amazing isn’t it! The treasure that the Imperial Japanese Army brought in were looted and transported in MacRitchie Reservoir from other countries in Southeast Asia.

And how do we know where is the treasure placed at? Only Shinto Shrine of Syonan (Japanese name for Singapore, which means The Light of the South) knows where the treasure and gold is.

6. Must say ‘sorry’ when a runner answer the call of nature, in nature

I’m sure everyone has heard of this saying before, to apologise when answering a call in nature. Apologising before doing your business is a way of telling the spirits that you are about to do your relieve yourself so that the spirits will be able to vacate the premises.

So before you relieve yourself, be sure to apologise before doing so. You wouldn’t want the spirits to get mad and haunt you, right?

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7. Don't run and take photo in three

Ever heard of people telling you not to be in groups of three? Well, that’s because three is an odd number and according to the myth, it is not good to be in groups that are odd in number. If so happen that you are running in a group of three, be sure to prepare your heart because it's said that the spirit will be joining the group.

Other than being in a group of 3, there’s also a belief that taking a picture in a group of three, the person in the middle will be the first to die. Besides, three is a pretty awkward number and there’s someone that could be left out.

8. Do not run over or step on offering ashes and joss sticks

The temporary altars are build to pay respect and extend offerings in order to satisfy the hungry ghosts. So if you were to mess with the offerings (like run over or step on offering ashes and joss sticks) or even give a remark unfavourably upon them, it is believed that the spirits might get offended and will disturb or follow you back home!

Some also believed that if you run over or step on offering ashes and joss sticks, your leg will be swollen the next day. If you happen to run over or step on it, be sure to apologise or risk incurring the spirits’ wrath.

9. Don't turn back when someone calls you during your night run

The Chinese believe that there are two torches of fire on your shoulders and if you turn back with your head over your shoulders, it will put out these torches, causing an imbalance of yin and yang energy, making you more vulnerable.

It is believed that if you need to turn back, turn your whole body instead when someone calls you. Legend has it that if any ghost calls you at night while you are walking or running alone is hostile and wants to possess or harm you. That’s really scary.

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10. Hear something? Smell something? See something?

If you ever hear dreadful cries of babies or smell something sweet, be sure to RUN because it could be a sign that the Pontianak is near. Well if you do not know what a Pontianak is, it is a spirit of a woman who died while she was pregnant.

And while you are doing your runs, do not look up at the tall trees in the dark. You’ll never know what will be up there.

11. Do not run under hanging clothes

Used to running pass block by block or running across to the other block under hanging clothes? Well, did anything happened to you? If no, then good for you because it is believed that if you are running under hanging clothes, bad luck will fall upon you.

12. Don't clip your nails at night

If you ever need to clip your nails, do it the next morning because it is believed that clipping your nails at night will attract angry spirits. Most of the folks believe that these spirits will take away your discarded nails and bring bad luck to your household.

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13. Eye Twitching during race day

It is believed that if your left eye twitches during race day, you will know that you will receive bad news and if your right eye twitches, you will know that you will receive good news.

So if your eyes twitches, be sure to take note of which eye is twitching and hope that the right eyes twitch instead of the left one.

14. Wearing red underwear during race day

Most runners believe in this superstition where “red” brings them good luck and wearing something with red on becomes their lucky charm in winning the race. You may think that it’s just a colour or so but to them, it is something really important for them to win a race.

15. Hope there is a number 8 in the race bib

Most of the Chinese dislike the number four as four in Chinese sounds like death, but they love the number eight as it sounds like the word prosperity.

Having number eight on their race bib will make them feel like they'll be able to win the race and if they get a number four on their race bib, they will feel as though they will lose the race. Its the same concept as the lucky number seven.

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16. Avoid showering very late at night after run

Have you ever got scolded by your parents for showering very late at night? Well, that’s probably because of the belief that if you shower very late at night, a bad omen will fall upon you. Well, unless you don’t really care about it then you can continue showering late at night.

17. Wearing black running clothing at night

Wearing a black running clothing at night will only attract the spirits and may follow you home too. They are especially attracted to colours like black or red, so if you are wearing those colours, be sure to look around you. You might have “someone” accompanying you home.

18. When you run past a place, that gives you sudden goosebumps, be careful

Ever run pass by a place and it just gives you this sudden coldness and goosebumps? It is believed that if you suddenly feel the sudden coldness or goosebumps, it means that the spirits are there at the same place as you. Well, if you experience that before, you need to remain calm and do not, I repeat do not shift your eyes or even be curious. You do not want to see something that you do not want to see, isn’t it? So to be safe, just keep running without being curious about it.

Have you heard of any other superstition other than what is listed?