There are many types of good luck amulets in Thailand, and some of them we sell here on this site - well, at our main website - Thai Amulet Sales (.com). Thais and most Asian nations have a lot of superstitions...
Thais came from a background of Animism before there was Buddhism at all. Hinduism and Buddhism, Animism, have all combined to create the religious atmosphere in Thailand. In the southernmost provinces, Islam can be added to this - so there is quite a diversity of beliefs in Thai culture.
All Thai culture believe in good luck amulets of some sort. There is a spirit world that can reach us and bring us both good luck and bad luck. Most Thais believe in karma as being the bringer of good luck. I would say that most Thais act on a day to day basis - hoping that their good deeds are registered and karma in the form of good luck later - occurs to bring them happiness.
Thais, in general, are afraid of ghosts to a very high degree. Most of the funny movies in Thailand - the comedies - have ghosts in them. The ghosts are something for Thais to laugh at in the movie, but in reality - they are scared to death of them. If you come to Thailand you will notice "Spirit Houses" in a corner of the yard of many homes.
Thais understand that there are ghosts roaming the world and that they might just live on the piece of land that you bought for your house... Instead of them roaming around, Thais make a Spirit House to ward off bad luck, evil spirits, and primarily to give the spirits a place to stay, so they don't choose living in the Thai person's house.
There are many types of ghosts Thais are afraid of - child ghosts are perhaps the scariest. There are Kuman Thong amulets that are with a child and oil in it... the child needs to be taken care of like a real child, and it will bring good luck beyond measure.
If the owner of the Kuman Thong amulet does not take care of it, feed it, help it to sleep, give it a nice place to rest... the baby can bring bad luck and destroy families and businesses.
Buddha good luck amulets are one of the most used. Buddha signifies a release from the cares of this world... from the pain and suffering. Buddhas and Buddhists that meditate, monks, nuns, are not afraid of ghosts because they understand that they have power over them. You can see in many amulets - especially the Jatukam amulets - the ring of demons surrounding either Buddha or Jatukam Ramathep, and looking in at the figure (see photo) while Buddha was sitting in meditation before his enlightenment, he was said to be tempted by demons.
While monks sit and meditate, and anytime - they are constantly being tempted to do things that break the monastic rules that Theravada Buddhist monks must follow. At some temples you can see a ridiculous sight... a giant cobra in front of a meditating Buddha... and the cobra has nice breasts like a woman, and usually a bra or negligee on! I will try to find a photo of this - I have many.
So, Buddha is one that has transcended the fear of ghosts, the fear of the realm outside reality - that we all experience. Buddha good luck charms - amulets, are used by some Thais to help them stay safe and have good luck, and not bad.
On the reverse side of Jatukam Ramathep amulets is often a sacred geometrical pattern - a yant pattern that is comprised of sacred Pali, Sanskrit, and Thai characters. This is arranged in a way that a senior monk (or historical scripts) have shown to be the most powerful good luck arrangement for the wearer of the amulet.
The animals of the Chinese zodiac are also used often to show that all wearers are protected with luck, regardless of day of birth. Sathorn Buddha amulets, Jinarat Buddha amulets, Somdej Buddhas, these are all said to bring the best of luck to wearers, and some people pay a million dollars for very powerful lucky Thai amulets.
There are shops in Bangkok that I've seen where buyers hand over a couple hundred thousand baht for special amulets that have been certified as authentic originals. One hundred thousand Thai Baht today is about $3,000 USD. Salika amulets - which are two birds together - bring good luck love relationships.
Luang Phor Tuad, Luang Phor Klai, Ajahn Jumnien, Luang Phor Koon, Lersi, Chu Chok, and other monks across Thailand have all earned the title of luck bringing monks. Their amulets are highly sought out for their good luck properties and protection properties. Protection from harm, from spirits, from bad luck, from injury, illness, crime.
Some Thai people believe that Buddhist monks can give them lucky numbers for the lottery - and they do whatever they can do to get the monk to say a number - even if the monk doesn't want to give one. Thais might count the number of chants a special monk does - and think that this is the number to play in the lottery for good luck. Some monks in the past have given numbers to people that hit for very large amounts of money in the lottery.
Buddha and other monks that have been in to the jhana realms have said that seeing the future with the divine eye - Abhinna - is possible. Monks are warned not to use their abilities to further harmful practices, and yet, some seem to thrive on the power and continue to use their special abilities to help some with extra luck, good for those that need it most.
The number nine (9) is very significant for good luck in Thailand. Thais buy custom license plates with 9's on them. Buddhist amulets that are special editions and that are numbers 9, 99, 999, or 9999 are bought for thousands of THB over what the regular amulets in the series without those numbers, sell for. One of the amulets we have - probably our most powerful good luck amulet - has been named the "9" series Buddha amulet and is said to be the most powerful amulet we have in stock.
The chedi at our local temple is going to be 99 meters high. There are 9 levels of the chedi. The number 9 can be found throughout Thai culture and society - as it is widely respected as the most important number.
Other Thai good luck symbols are really more of a Hindu origin, and come in the form of Ganesh and Kwan Yin. Ganesh is the elephant symbol that is on many of Thailand's goodluck pendants and charms. Ganesh is the god of obstacles.
Specifically he can remove and set obstacles in the path of people on earth. So, an obstacle removed could result in overwhelming luck in some cases. An obstacle placed, could cause the person to grow spiritually, or intellectually... gain compassion, or some other virtue... and be good too.
In our housing complex we have a very large gold Ganesh shrine that Thais are constantly bringing offerings to. Kwan Yin is another good luck symbol. She is the goddess of compassion. Of course many Thais are hurting inside and need better luck in areas of health, getting over loss, and love...
Kwan Yin is another of the major lucky figures Thais adore. Nong Kwak is a woman with her hand extended. She is most commonly found in businesses that want to increase their goodluck in business and have customers and money coming in. She is unrivaled for this purpose, and especially Chinese Thais will have a statue or ten of Nong Kwak in their store to bring luck.
Sacred scrolls, or Takrud, are made into amulets for luck in Thailand. These are rolled metal scrolls - or other items that are put in small glass or plastic tubes, and that function as lucky amulets for those that wear them. Many Thais believe in the power of the rolled scrolls with inscribed prayers written in them by Theravada Buddhist monks here in Thailand - and many people buy these amulets to become as lucky as possible.
Multiple amulet necklaces which hold 3 or 5, even 7 or 9 amulets can be found. Cab drivers, tuk-tuk drivers, song-thaew drivers seem to wear these multiple good luck amulet necklaces to increase their luck exponentially.
If you are driving a vehicle in Thailand, you might notice people standing around in hats, long sleeves and long pants at the red lights. They are selling flower bracelets that can be put on your rearview mirror to bring safety and luck to those in the vehicle. Each flower wreath is 20 THB on average (about 66 cents) and some drivers replace them every chance they get - to ensure good health, and luck on Thailand's rather dangerous roads.
Most people in Thailand wear good luck amulets or other symbols of luck - or have them in a purse, in their car, or somewhere else for luck. If you are looking for lucky amulets - have a look at our Thai Amulet Sales site.