Be it 2020 or the 18th century, good luck charms have always known to attract attention throughout the ages. Whether it’s a local vendor trying to boost his sales or a CEO looking for social success, the market has a plethora of options ranging from lucky ornaments to dream catchers.
The Thai market is one such treasure trove where people are firm believers in these mysterious powers and cater to a variety of medallions, Buddhist trinkets, and many more. The most popular among them all is their amulets, which are supposedly blessed and can bestow luck upon the wearer. With a carving of Buddha or an esteemed monk on it, the amulet is sold in miniature finger-sized shapes to larger palm-sized ones; all said to possess magical and spiritual attributes.
The story goes that during the rule of King Mongkut in the mid-19th century, Somdej To, a renowned saint, who was also one of the king’s closest advisors, had charms made for his disciples. Since then, amulets have held an eminent place in Thai culture, and they continue to remind people of the great monk’s teachings. Also known as, “the king of amulets”, they are highly valued, and some are even considered to be priceless.
An amulet’s value solely depends on the monk that has blessed it. Although, like any other market, not all of them are genuine. Given which, people pay close attention to detail by inspecting it through a loupe and won’t pay a penny until they’re satisfied. The latest poll suggests that almost 70 percent of the Thai community owns an amulet for self-protection and enrichment. Holding the position for the largest amulet market worldwide, Thailand alone generates a whopping 1.26 million dollars annually.
Among the famous Thai amulets, the LP Toh Somdej amulet is the most favorable as it is known to bring forth good fortune and karmic merit among many other desirable properties. It supposedly even prevents the bearer from any kind of physical harm. People are witness to the wonders of this lucky charm and state that even criminals have managed to escape bullets only because they had an amulet on. Going by their rigid belief system, Thais accumulate multiple amulets to ensure that the charms work to their full potential.
With such a strong foundation, these amulets also come with rules and regulations. From wearing them only the waist above to praying before and after putting on an amulet, the locals never fail to follow these norms. Whether it’s Guatemala, Great Britain, or Thailand, it’s safe to say that the realm of lucky charms exists irrespective of the world revolution and will continue to fascinate us.