The evil eye is a belief that exists in some form in most cultures. The basic idea is that if someone feels envy or jealousy and spends too long gazing a the object of their envy, their feelings can be transmitted to in the form of a bad luck curse or illness. In most cases, the envious person does not intend to harm the object of their envy but the energy of the envy takes on a life of its own.
Beautiful children, happy brides, healthy livestock and bountiful crops are especially likely to suffer the evil eye as even passersby with no other emotional connection can infect them with this negative energy causing bad luck, illness and other maledictions to befall them. Many customs have developed to prevent the evil eye. For example, some cultures have a custom of spitting on the bride to avoid envious looks and some mothers will vehemently contradict any compliment regarding their children's beauty or cleverness. If one finds oneself succumbing to envy, one can prevent the evil eye from taking hold by touching or kissing the object or person in question.
Various cures exist including bathing the victim with holy water, saying prayers, sweeping the victim with a broom or transferring the curse to another object, such as an egg, by passing it over the victim's head and body. In some traditions, only the person whose envy first caused the curse can cure it.
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