Thai people are very superstitious about a lot of things. Although some is out of respect and culture, I feel like they mainly live in fear of bad things happening in their lives whether it’s now or their after life. These are just to name a few:
1. Whistling at night. Thai people believe that by whistling at night you welcome in ghosts and evil spirits. Some take it very seriously and some others don’t.
2. Shrine houses. Every house, restaurant, street corner have what they call a “shrine” which is a house for a little Buddha god to stay. People sacrifice and pray to it everyday but it also keeps away bad spirits. The shrine stops the bad spirits from entering into the buildings and invites the good spirits to come in to stay.
3. Money. Stepping on money is a huge disrespect and will bring bad luck upon your life if you step on it. The reason is because the King, Palace, and other Royal Monarchs are on it. If you show any sign of disrespect to money, you will be cursed and always suffer to never have a lot of it. (Also known as never winning the lottery.)
4. Monks. You can’t touch a monk whatsoever. If you want to give something to a monk you have to bow, and hold your hands straight forward in a giving motion. You cannot eat fish in the rivers where the monks live. They are sacred fish and if you kill and eat them, something terrible will happen to you.
5. Spirits living in trees. If you see a big tree with trash completely surrounding it and on the tree, it’s because they believe a spirit lives in it. As trashy and terrible as it looks, you cannot remove the litter for it’s for the spirits. (Even though this a good excuse to just throw more trash down to “sacrifice” it.) If you rip a leaf off a tree where a spirit lives, then nothing but bad luck will come to you for it was alive in the leaf. Also because there’s no toilets up north, it’s common to use a tree as one. Some people believe that you have to pray to the tree before you potty on it because if you don’t, the spirits in the trees will follow you to haunt you and scare you.
6. Tattoos. No Buddha face tattoos nor any kind of a monarch. You can’t get certain tattoos out of respect but also evil spirits will haunt you if you do for Buddha won’t be pleased. There’s one that looks like a Temple swirl and by getting this tattoo it means you are stating that you will never lie, cheat, steal, or murder because a good spirit is inside of you. If you do sin then you break the curse, and bad spirit will come live inside of you for the rest of your life. (People say that if you get this symbol tattooed, you’re pretty brave to live a risky life.)
7. Tree of death. There’s a certain tree if you have in your yard it brings death upon your family, even though it’s a beautiful tree/bush with pink flowers. More of the older people believe this for the meaning of the tree in Thai means death.
8. Sin. To get rid of your sins you have to pay merits to people who work for Buddha (or say they do) and they will go sacrifice it to him. Honestly your money gets stolen half the time when you do pay merits.
9. Knocking. So a lot of people have the superstition that if you knock on wood it will not bring bad luck, right? Thai people believe you can knock on anything twice and it means whatever problems or worries you have, it’s already behind you and gone.
It’s crazy how these superstitions have developed over the years or have been held on to for so long. It’s sad too that they live their life in fear of evil spirits and bad luck. Yet our God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind.