Saturday 22 September 2007

Thailand's ghosts...

On Wednesday about 20 scarecrows appeared on our street, just stuck on the side of the road in front of people's houses. Some were wearing signs hung around their necks, some stuck out at odd angles, some pretty fancy, others just sticks with clothes on! This one's head is a pomello!

Turns out some old dude in the village had a dream on Tuesday night that a ghost was going to come and kill everyone who was born on a Wednesday. Most Thais know what day of the week they are born on as it's a life long significant day for them (we got married on a Monday because my husband was born on Monday...that sort of thing...). So, to ward off the killer spirits, people hastily erected these voodoo doll hoosarmewhatsits to declare that no one in that house was born on a Wednesday. It brings to mind lamb's blood on the door in Egypt...silly Pharaoh!

Not sure how long they are going to stay around...perhaps a few more Wednesdays, just to be sure...some are a little creepy to look at.

It's really quite a phenomenon how superstitious Thais are. Another example I found quite amusing was on the news a few weeks ago. Bangkok has this famous giant teak swing built in the 1700s by King Rama to please the harvest gods. Well, it was looking a bit haggard after a couple of hundred years, so it got renovated (so that's where my mother-in-law went!)...and what do you know, if there aren't lottery numbers appearing in the paint!! Seriously, there were dozens of people crowded around the base with incense burning and praying to Buddha to see the numbers clearly...then conveniently enough, they turn around and buy lottery tickets from the seller standing behind them! News like this is almost a daily occurrence in Thailand....a land of believers! I'm surprised Jesus hasn't made such a big impression here...he likes to appear on toast...too bad there's no numbers next to his head! Oh wait, I see a seven...and I swear that's Casper on the left...

5 commentaramas:

Ally said...

No !... I can clearly see 597


Carol said...

Brilliant post!! I love the scarecrows....although I have to say that if I had woken up to a village full of scarecrows I think I would have completely freaked out!!

C x

Mel said...

It's actually getting worse. J's dad just told us a lot more houses have stuck them up...will check it out in the morn!

thailandchani said...

I remember the superstitions. Don't know why.. but I found it all rather endearing and wished it would be so easy to believe like that. :)

(I was in Khon Kaen and surrounding areas... )

Different superstitions in some regards.. but much the same reasons.



Mel said...

Ally, sure it's not 666!!

C - there's about 100 of them up is freakin me out!!

Chani - I think it would be a bit scary to live like that! They get really terrified about ghosts killing them or taking away their children.. it's taken very seriously here!