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Folklore of Thailand: Amulets and Charms

05/07/2014

Culturally Curious

A must-see list for any trip to Thailand inevitably includes a number of the gorgeous wats, or temples, that fill the country. From Bangkok’s Wat Phra Keaw to Chiang Mai’s Wat Chedi Luang, from Chiang Rai’s Wat Rong Khunto Petchabun’s Wat Paa Son Gaeow, from Si Saket’s Wat Lan Khuat to Bueng Kan’s Wat Phu Tok, wats are quite literally the center of village life in Thailand. Any trip to most any temple will show how folk beliefs and Buddhism have melded into the current practice of wearing and displaying khong khlang(ของลัง), or amulets and charms, which can be purchased at or near the temples. But what do these amulets and charms supposedly do and how do they get their powers?

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