If you are familiar with the Thai culture or have Thai friends, I am sure you know that all Thai people are grown up with superstitious beliefs and taboos. Some are still believed to be true, and some are now used to tease friends. Although I don’t really believe in any superstitions, I think these are worth sharing.
1. ห้ามตัดผมวันพุธ Do not cut the hair on Wednesday. I have a post about this superstition in detail here.
2. ชิ้นสุดท้ายแฟนหล่อ Lucky person finish the last piece
If you get to eat the last piece of food in the plate when sharing with your friends , you will get a handsome boyfriend or good looking girlfriend.
3. จิ้งจกทัก ห้ามออกจากบ้าน Don’t leave home if you hear a gecko!
If you hear a gecko before you leave your home, it is a sign that you will experience bad incident. The lizard is warning you that something bad will happen to you, so you should stay inside.
Credit photo: mythland.org
4. ฝันว่างูรัดจะเจอเนื้อคู่ If you dream of a snake, you will meet your soul mate.
If you dream about snakes wrapping itself around your body that means your soul mate is on his/her way! In the case you already have a girlfriend, boyfriend, or are already married and you dreamt that you found a snake, someone is having a crush on you!
5. เขม่นตา ขวาร้าย ซ้ายดี if you right eye twitches it means something bad is going to happen to you, but if it is the left eye you will have good luck.
6. ห้ามร้องเพลงขณะกินข้าว To single ladies: do not sing while cooking or eating, or you will end up with an old husband! This taboo came from the fact that the rice will be burnt (rice cookers didn’t exist in the old time, and people had to use coal) or you will accidently cut yourself with the kitchen knife if you don’t pay attention while cooking. This taboo was used to scare ladies working in the kitchen, as ladies at that time usually feared getting old husbands.
7. บีบแตรผ่านหน้าศาลหรือโค้งร้อยศพ Honk when driving pass the shrine or curve
Thai drivers believe that when driving pass a shrine or a curve that had many accidents, you should honk to show respect to the souls living in that area. This belief actually just makes people alert when driving through a dangerous curve.
8. มองลอดขาจะเห็นผี You will see a ghost if you bend down and look between your legs. ( I have never tried to do this myself, I am too scared! )
9. อย่าชมว่าเด็กน่ารัก Never say a baby is cute because a ghost will come and take it away, so Thai people will compliment a cute baby with the expression “น่ารักน่าชัง nâa-rák nâa-chang” (adorable and unpleasant)
10. อย่าชี้รุ้งกินน้ำ Your finger will fall off if you point at a rainbow.
11. ถ้าจามแปลว่ามีคนคิดถึง If you sneeze, it means someone is missing you or someone is talking about you.
12. If you are talking about someone and suddenly he/she shows up or hear from him/her, it means that person will live long. Thai people say ตายยาก /dtaai yâak/ like in English expression that says ‘speaking of the devil’.
13. Always consult the monk or fortune teller to get the good date (in Thai is called ฤกษ์ rêrk) for wedding or taking a new car out of the showroom , prior to installing the foundation pile for a new house, and arrange house warming party. Some new-generation Thai might not believe in the above superstitions, but most Thai sees this practice very important.
Credit photo: hs.cru.in.th
My friend’s family strongly believes this kind of thing, they even have a family’s fortune teller who tells if a person is suitable to be a son or daughter-in-law of the family. My friend had to stop seeing her boyfriend because their fortunes didn’t match.
14. It’s raining cats and dogs
Some believe that virgin women have a special power to prevent rain from pouring! If you don’t want to have a rainy day , you can give a virgin lady a lemongrass and ask her to stick it onto the ground (This ritual is called ปักตะไคร้ bpàk dtà-krái). The sun will shine all day (and you can also check if one is virgin) Amazing no?
15. Most visitors to Thailand might have noticed that many Thai people wear amulets (พระเครื่อง prá-krûeang). Amulets are special Buddha images, often gold-plated or silver plated and worn around the neck. They are believed to possess a variety of sacred powers such as the ability to protect the wearer from accident or illness.
Do you have similar belief in your culture? I am interested to know. 🙂
Rosemary Skinner says
Is there any superstitions about older women, or ghosts or ridding ghosts in house before you leave????.
My wife is from South Thailand and goes mad if it starts raining and the kids are outside. She covers their heads with anything available and rushes them inside. She says the rain makes people sick !
It seems all Thai people have this same believe. I am not sure why.
I have a question.
My mother dreamed about walking between 2 holy threads, heading to an old train surrounded by lots of people wearing clothes of every color in an abandoned forest.
She said there was a voice telling everyone to get on the train.
She actually went to see a monk before I was born. He told her that she might not live until 45, but then he said that my birth date added some more years to her life. And now she’s 46.
And her friend also recently dreamt about waking up in the night, and going to the toilet, but saw on the mirror that her head was missing.
So they just went out to see a fortune teller together.
I was curious if those dreams had meanings.
Because I’ve heard from my thai grandma that when you die, you get on a train.
What does it mean if I dreamed of two snakes in front of me then the second one a small thin gray snake went inside my shirt? And I also dreamed of someone else mother, she has a son. Me & her talked with a motherly advice even though she’s not my mom.
Mark D says
Love this list Mod!!
Had fun talking about it with my wife 🙂
One more for the list, more modern… not sure if it’s just an Isaan thing, but my wife’s family all believe that’s if you use a mobile phone during a storm you’ll be electrocuted by lightning! When I’m visiting if I use my phone I get told off immediately! :))
Thank you for adding to the list. I heard that before too. Isn’t it true? 🙂
hahahaha very true , the internet wifi gets turned off at the first sign of thunder and lightening
My girlfriend is Isan, and we were on our phones and wifi, for several days of raining. I did, however, get a good shock, due to some faulty wiring, when plugging in my phone to charge. My girlfriend said, “it’s because you’re standing in water”. So, maybe it’s true.
What does it mean, when you’re pregnant and you dream about Thai dragon flying in the sky looking at you and and you were looking at it too, in the dream you’re not scared at all . It look exactly like The Thai PaYaNat. I really wants to know what does it mean Because that’s what I dreamed.
Sawatdee ka Pojaman, it sounds like a positive dream. I am sorry I can’t interpret this story. Usually Thai people who want to know the meaning of their dreams will go to see a fortune teller. Good luck with your new life chapter!
I had a dream about I see snake b others weeks ahead I dream about gold n silver jewelry. What does it mean?
แปลว่า ความเชื่อในทางไสยศาสตร์ หรือ ความเชื่องมงายค่ะ
I want to be able to explain benjaped for my boyfriend to understand how can i explain this superatition to him, like becoming the age of 25 35 45 etc.
Does anyone know about the Lucky Bugs?
My fiance told me you need to steal the bugs from someone in order to be Lucky.
If they give you the bugs, they won’t be Lucky.
That is interesting. I never heard of that before. What part of Thailand is your girlfriend from? I assume it could be a specific regional belief.
What if a baby/toddler bends over and looks between their legs?
Superstitions say that you might have another baby.
His or her parents would consider a gymnastic class.
Does anyone know why thai doors have to be opened inwards?
Interesting question. I have never thought about this.
Ummmm….is 53 years old considered old hahaha!
I was referring to #6 🙂
I am 66. How should I speak to/with a married neighbor woman? She seems to be OK with me bringing gifts of cookies for her family.
They live in Illinois US and seem to have been living here for some time. She speaks very good English! Husband seems to work many hours because I don’t see him much.
I forgot to mention that there is a cow with horns bone skull hanging out by the front door. Don’t know what it means
Sawatdee ka khun Roger, I am not sure what about you would like to talk to her. If you would like to thank her for the gifts she brings you can simply say ขอบคุณครับ kop kun krap.
Superstition item 15 is interesting. I told my fiancee to be extra safe when I was away (I am in America until her visa is processed) and she has been wearing an amulet ever since. She had never worn it before, but now it makes sense.
Great psychic work! This is the kind of info that should be shared across
the net. Thanks =)
Sawasdeekab arjan mid…
We, the Chinses believes the same as your #5 #8 & #9…
But for #5 we believe the other way as left twicks mean bad luck & right is good luck…
Glad to know more into thai cultures & believes na kab…
Kob kun maak kab for sharing infos
I like the one about the frond door and the back door of any business should not be in direct alignment. If they are, this means the money that comes into a business will leave the business through the back door as easily as it came in the front. I learned this a few year ago when we were remodeling a business.
Thank you for sharing this interesting information. 🙂
Michael Saw says
Sawardee krub Khru Mod. Quite similar superstitious to those Chinese beliefs. Thank you for sharing. Almost heading for haircut today.
Sawatdee ka Micael, thank you for reading my post and sharing information about your culture as well. 🙂
I was an exchange student in Thailand and at school my class mates told me that you see ghosts when you stand under an umbrella if it’s not raining. Is that a common superstition? What does it mean?
I have never heard of that believe before, but I have heard that if you look back between your legs while standing at night time, you might see ghosts.
hi its so cool that im actualy sending some one this message
who was actually went to school in Thailand
I am happy to hear that you enjoy my post. Thank you for visiting my website.:)
hi, do you know any accurate fortunetellers in Bangkok? 🙂
Sawatdee ka Sandy, I am sorry I don’t know any.I will ask my friends. 🙂
im rereading ur blog to prepare for my visit on dec and found this post. it’s a surprise that malaysia n thailand hv very similar superstitious beliefs!:) but then again, our ancestors r mainly from thai…make sense! ihihi~
Sawatdee ka Vee, thank you for visiting my website. Hope you find it useful.
Welcome to Thailand in advance!
In their deck, the Fool represents more of the potential of
the blank slate of humanity, and our inherent possibilities for growth
than the foolishness village idiot of earlier decks.
Reading tarots cards for yourself and others may seem difficult at first but once you master these tarot card reading steps
and use them you will find that reading tarot cards will become easier and
will feel more natural as you will know what you are doing and what to look
out for whilst doing tarot card readings.
These are all situations that we may have had to suffer through without any guidance.
Who is the fortune teller?
My Thai Wife had smelt burning Insense 2 days ago. But there was none burning. Now 2 days later she smelt it again.
What does this all mean. Could someone please help me with this.
I know there are many superstitions about construction of buildings, ghosts, and the land spirits. What happens if a worker is killed while a building is under construction? Sadly this just happened across the street from me (in Chiang Mai). What will happen with the building? I’m not sure if it is to be a house or an office.
Wow, I just came across this post from my wife two years later. I can answer the question now. Monks came to bless the house and a couple weeks later they started building again. And two years later they are still not finished building the house!
Kevin Henriksen says
What about the superstitions about pointing at a rainbow and getting rich from seeing a water monitor?