Most of us have met, or have certainly seen, Thais with one, two or sometimes more, amulets hanging around their neck. The most popular image of these amulets is that of Buddha, and these are worn to repel bad luck and evil. These amulets have been worn in Thailand for centuries.
Thais believe strongly in the power Buddha and the people wearing these amulets not only do so to pursue happiness, but also to avert pain and sorrow.
A large number of Thai people believe in ghosts and many claim to have seen at least one. This is not limited to rural villages, but also among university students and people from all walks of life. Many people wear amulets for protection against evil spirits and in their houses you will often find Thai Spirit Houses (San Phra Phum), which are also there to protect against these spirits. Thais believe there are many ghosts that need to be feared and each represents a different threat. In addition to protection against ghosts or evil spirits, amulets are also worn as a kind of protection. For example, Thai soldiers may use amulets to increase their luck and protect their lives.
Today, you will find people of all nationalities wearing these amulets. They can be easily found in jewelry shops, craft fairs, museums and shops. These amulets are prayed over by monks for a period of time covering several days, so it gains power to fight off evil in all its forms.
Thai amulets are not factory-made; they are made by monks in Thailand who use their experience, age old books and manuscripts to make these amulets lucky. A good gold leaf amulet can be purchased in temples for 10,000 baht or more. Some Thais will spend more than 20 million baht on the amulets according to newspaper reports.
Thai amulets are not only worn around the neck, but can also be seen on the dashboard of cars.