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Customs and superstitions in Thailand

There are many customs and superstitions in Thailand that may come across as rather odd to western minds.

For example, it is unlikely that anybody in the West really gives too much consideration to which would be the best day to have their haircut but for Thai’s it would be considered very unlucky to have your hair cut on a Wednesday. Interestingly most barbers will open on a Wednesday but would rather offer you others services such as shaving or ear wax removal rather than a haircut. It is also not unusual in Thailand for a child that barber shopcries too much to have their head completely shaved except for one single strand of hair, later on the head will be shaved again, this time including the one strand of h air and this will result in less crying from the child.

It is not only hair that you must be careful when you cut, cutting your toe or finger nails at night is also considered unlucky. Knocking over or spilling rice is also a sure fire way of knowing that something bad will happen to you that day.

Sneezing, as in many other cultures is a sure sign that somebody is talking about you, and having an itchy palm means money is coming your way, but if you have an itchy back that will indicate rain.

If a snake crosses a single woman’s path then it is believe that she will soon get a new boyfriend. If a lizard makes a noise as you leave a house through the door then bad luck will soon be heading in your direction. If a lizard falls on you from the ceiling then you are in for some seriously bad luck!

In Thailand new born babies are given a nick name as well as their official name and throughout their life they will be referred to by their nick name rather than their actual name, this it to confuse ghosts that may prey on the child if their actual name is used. New born children also often have their head completely shaved in order that the new growth is thicker and stronger then the first.

tree offeringSomething less well known is Nam Phi Thai Hong, in other words zombie oil. This oil is made by placing a candle under the chin of a woman who has died in childbirth. The resulting oil is collected and used as a powerful love potion that when used will make the recipient of the oil fall madly in love with the one who administered it. However, like most of the black arts this practice comes with some risk and in this case it is making the recipient smell like rotting fish!

And finally it is common in Thai culture to believe that some spirits and ghosts inhabit tress, and that is why you often see trees that are adorned by flowers and garlands and have gifts at the base. These gifts can be toys of the spirit is believed to be that of a child. The size of the tree also directly corresponds to the szi of the ghost. A huge tree will have a very powerful ghost residing in it.

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