Some would say they are irrational poppycock; others live by them on a daily basis for fear of bad luck. Whatever you think of them there are many of them and superstitions are ingrained into most cultures. We have plenty of them in the west: don’t put new shoes on a table, an itchy nose nose means you are going to have a fight, walking under a ladder is bad luck as is a black cat crossing your path.
Having lived in Thailand for 10 years I’ve become familiar with many of their superstitions: getting your haircut on a Wednesday is bad luck, if you look between your legs you are going to see a ghost. Some are even the complete opposite to superstitions we have in the west such as ‘a bird crapping on your head means your doomed’. I believe it’s good luck in the west. How a bird soiling your head is good luck I don’t know.
The main one I encounter is choosing the lottery numbers, Thais go through a painstaking process to get the right numbers using all sorts of signs and omens to select the winning numbers. Someone of course wins and points out that it works. I of course point out that the other 20,000,000 people who bought a ticket didn’t win. I get looked at like I’m bonkers when I choose a ticket at random with my eyes shut.
Whatever you think about this window into the human psyche, here are some superstitions that you may come across in Thailand:
- Ghosts can tell you the lottery numbers
- Your finger will fall off if you point at a rainbow
- It’s bad luck to have sex on your birthday
- Don’t touch other people’s heads
- If a picture of you falls on the floor you will die soon
- People with thick ears are destined to be lonely
- If your left eye twitches something good will happen, if your right eye twitches something bad will happen (maybe it’s the other way around)
Please feel free to let me know what you think about superstitions and any others that you know of.