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THURSDAY, October 06, 2022
Thais flock to Chinese temples to ward off misfortune

Thais flock to Chinese temples to ward off misfortune

THURSDAY, January 13, 2022

With this year being considered an unlucky one for people born in the year of the tiger, snake, monkey or pig, some Thais believe 2022 for them will be “pee chong”, or unlucky.

In an attempt to ward off any misfortune, Thais have always flocked to Chinese temples after the New Year festival each year to pay respect to Chinese gods, believing that the gods alone can save them from ill luck. This year is no different.

“Chong” means “crash” in Chinese. The belief is complicated as there are many factors that need to be considered, such as one’s date of birth, zodiac sign and the five elements (earth, water, fire, wood and gold).

The god Caishen, worshipped by Chinese people for more than 3,000 years, is believed to help people escape misfortune and danger.

Despite “pee chong” having nothing to do with Buddhism, the belief nevertheless came to influence Thais after the immigration of Chinese to Thailand during the reign of King Rama III which, for example, can be seen in Wat Ratcha Orasaram Ratchaworawihan’s architecture in Bangkok’s Chom Thong district.

The definition of “pee chong” changed slightly over the decades. It initially involved the Chinese belief warning people to be careful in their day-to-day lives.

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