Up in smoke?

Could burning fake money actually work?

Traditionally setting light to funny money has been carried out in Vietnam as a means of bringing good luck.

Credit pic: 3Dom

Credit pic: 3Dom

To Western eyes it may look like a quaint superstition to appease gods, ancestors and ghosts. But if there was nothing in this flammable offering on the first and fifteenth of the lunar month why has this tradition survived for centuries?

Clearly, if the evidence was that burning bogus bank notes had no effect whatsoever it would have disappeared like smoke long ago.

While I am not suggesting that cremating cash necessarily brings good luck or fortune, the tradition we see played out on countless pavements must by inference be beneficial in some measure, leaving aside the pure matters of faith and religion.

The most likely answer is that the act itself promotes positive thinking. If you are optimistic it is human nature to then seek out evidence in subsequent events to support that outlook. In other words it is self fulfilling. Think positive and positive stuff will happen.

At this point I would have liked to have checked out with a big ‘and the moral to the story’ line.

Unfortunately I tend to agree a lot of the time with that great sage of the modern era, the quintessential definer of the human condition – Homer Simpson.

He once famously observed: “Maybe there is no moral to the story. Maybe, it’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.”

Amen to that.


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