I always think it’s interesting how superstitious even my most modern Thai friends are. They believe in the power of certain statutes and other inanimate objects. They think ‘lucky phone numbers’ can help them in life and so will get a new phone number with ‘lucky numbers’ in it if their luck is failing. They will even go to pray at certain temples or in front of particular Buddha statues, because those places are reputed to help women who want to get pregnant or find a boyfriend, or help men who want luck in business or to find a good wife.
So, I thought this short video from the Bangkok Post was interesting. Thais lining up to buy a Guman Thong statue and have it blessed by a famous monk. Guman Thong, one of the most famous statues in Thailand, are supposed to help make the owner lucky in everything they do — as long as they take care of Guman Thong properly, that is.
In reality, the Guman Thong statue is that of a young Thai child that is actually a ghost. It is said the first Guman Thong was created by a famous Thai warrior, Khun Pean, who lived in the Ayutthaya period of Thai history between 1491 and 1529. Khun Paen wanted a supernatural being to protect him in battle, so he cut the unborn child out of his dead wife’s stomach and roasted it over a fire. He named the ghost child Guman Thong and, yes, Guman Thong protected him when he went into battle.
Ever since then, if someone has a statue of Guman Thong, it’s expected they will be protected in all things and always be lucky.