Only recently, my old Honda City broke down just when I was about to park it at a barbers shop near a 7/11 not far from my home. At the exact spot where the car stopped, there was a lottery vendor, and this lady had a customer. First, they looked a bit shocked by my awful parking, but when they saw that the car was overheated and me going to 7/11 to buy some water for the cooler, they both started to write down the number of my license plate.
I realised it was time for some Thai superstitions. I started the car again, and I moved it to park a bit in the shadows. Not far away from the hairdresser’s shop. But the very moment I stepped in to cut my hair, the lady directly asked the same question.
–What’s the number of your license plate hihihi?
This is maybe the most classic way to look for a good lottery number nowadays. That is to check the license plate number. Furthermore, it seems that no tragedy is too morbid to get good luck from. It frequently happens after accidents that license plates are checked. I heard stories from quarantine hotels in Bangkok now during the covid pandemic that staffs have been buying lottery inspired by the room number where they have encountered cases of people with covid. Superstitions with some hope to make a profit.
The Mae Nak Shrine on Sukhumvit in Bangkok
This Shrine involves some of my favourite Thai superstitions. Some people in Bangkok will look up a shrine in Sukhumvit 77 to get the blessing of a spirit to win the lottery. The spirits name is Mae Nak. She died prematurely while giving birth and her husband was not home. The husband, Maak, was fighting in a war.
Mae Nak dearly loved her husband, so her spirit refused to move on to the afterlife. When the husband returned home, he knew nothing about the death of his wife. The couple went on living as nothing had happened.
One day the husband realised that she was just a ghost, and he hid from her in a temple. The local ghost doctor came to the rescue and cut a piece of Mae Nak’s forehead bone, and captured her spirit in a bottle.
Later, a shrine committed to Mae Nak spirit was constructed. The folktale is over 100 years old, but to this day, people still go to the shrine for guidance and trying to get signs to win the lottery, and some men go there to try to avoid military service. They get the right draw in that lottery. Since Mae Nak’s husband was called to battle, it is said that she is not in favour of military service and can be of help if you want to avoid it.
The Snake Case
Many years ago, a snake fell on my chest from some temple ruin in Sukhothai historical park. It fell to the ground, and I lightly stepped on it, but it didn’t bite. It just escaped. But my two Thai friends were so happy and said: – Khun Per. This means that you will meet your partner soon. I wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or not. But at the time, I was more busy trying to calm down a bit after what was a completely new and unique happening.
Also, dreaming of a snake is a message that you soon will meet a partner. And some people might think that seeing a small snake is equivalent to choosing number five in the lottery, and a giant snake is a certain number six.
Bees in the house, more superstitions for good luck
In Thailand, you might also be surprised to see when bees invade a neighbour’s house. They leave the beehive and the bees swarming around. This is very much considered to be a totem of good luck. Listening to a gecko calling ” geeechoo” “geechoo” 7 times should also be a good reason for buying a lottery ticket. And if a small lizard enters your house, speak to it softly and kindly, and you will have some great fortune coming your way.
Don’t cut your hair on a Wednesday superstition
The classic superstition is that you can not cut your hair on Wednesdays in Thailand. That it would be bad luck has probably something to do with the fact that royals had their haircut on Wednesdays in the past. Hence, it was both that hairdressers were not available and that it was absolutely a no do to cut the hair as an ordinary person on a Wednesday. No way that you could compare yourself to nobility.
The Monk and Astrologist advice and superstitions
Always consult the monk or fortune teller to get the perfect date for a wedding, start a company, take a new car out of the showroom before installing the foundation pile for a new house, and arrange the house warming party.
For our family, we have done all of this. The monks decided the wedding date. They moved the date from just a few days before the tsunami 2004 to a month earlier. For me, it was fortunate; I would have had most of my family on holiday in Phuket during the tsunami. Thank god for superstitions.
Some monks recommended that we buy a silvered coloured car. Lucky for us that we wanted the same. Well, 14 years later, it is still working. We did get the blessing and sprinkling of the vehicle. Thai people can be very pragmatic, though. If they disagree with the colour suggested by the monks, they might buy whatever colour of the car they prefer, but to be safe, they will have a sign on the car saying that this is not a white car, it is a black car or! That would please both sides, monks and car owners.
The Name Change
Something reasonably familiar in Thailand is name changes if you consider yourself a victim of bad karma. So bad events are not always something good anyway. If you need a name change, you will look up a holy person to find a more suitable name for you, look into events and birthdates and more in your personal history. Sometimes, it is enough to correct lousy luck with repeated visits to temples. A Thai friend was a bit unlucky to kill a snake in her house by throwing the heavy spirit house on the snakes head. Two bad things in one call there, destroying a spirit house and killing a large animal. But it was all adjusted by enough temple visits. Superstitions at work
Anyhow, I always found the perspective that something unlucky can anticipate something good as a bit charming. In Europe, I remember often hearing people worrying that something terrible would happen to them after they had some luck or a stroke of success. So when in Thailand, take your chances to buy lottery tickets when “shit happens”.