SUPERSTITIONS in Thailand | When accidents precede Good Luck and other stories

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 realized 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 happens frequently 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 at the time 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 realized 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. 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 for me was a completely new and unique happening. Also dreaming of a snake is said to be 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 large snake is a sure number six.

Bees in the house, more superstitions for good luck

In Thailand, you might also be surprised to see when a neighbours house has been invaded by bees. They just 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 so it was both the fact that hairdressers were not available and that it was absolutely a no do to cut the hair as a common 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, starting a company, taking a new car out of the showroom, before installing the foundation pile for a new house, and arranging 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 from before the tsunami 2004 to a month earlier. Which for me was extremely lucky, otherwise I would have had most of my family on holiday in Phuket during the tsunami. Thank god for superstitions.

Monks recommended we have a silvered coloured car. Lucky us that we wanted the same. Well, 14 years later it is still working. We did get the blessing and sprinkling of the car. 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 on the safe side 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 fairly common 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 that will find a more suitable name for you looking into events and birthdates and more in your personal history. Sometimes, it is enough to correct bad 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 bad 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”.

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