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Old 07-29-2012, 11:12 AM
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There are a number of superstitious and strange customs that can be found to be practiced in SE Asia, many of which are often deeply engrained in the culture. Once in a while something weird pops up that gets public attention.

Feel free to post some of the strange or unusual curiosities and superstitions you know about in SE Asian countries. If you can, add a link, video or photo about it.

The 'Magic' Log of Cambodia
This recently hit the press. Evidently a 42-foot long (13 meters) log was discovered in a western province of Cambodia while draining a pond. The claim is that someone won the lottery after touching the log. Since then, some 4000 to 5000 people have flocked to the area to see the log. People sort of massage the log with talcum powder, and to ask the log for good luck, good health, financial fortune, etc.

Cambodians flock to 'magic' log for lottery luck

This article includes a video of people visiting the 'Magic' Log.
Sky News: 'Magic' log found in Cambodia

AFP: Cambodians ask 'magic log' for lottery numbers

Last edited by NightBazaar; 07-29-2012 at 11:28 AM..
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:36 PM
Location: Filipinas
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Filipino Superstitions
Compiled by Laura B. Corpuz

The Filipino daily way of life is encompassed by countless sayings, proverbs, and beliefs. People tend to work around the superstitions even if they were told they may be committing a sin. Many Filipinos believe in superstitions to avoid any negative consequences. They may be true; they may be not. We hear them from our parents and grandparents, even without scientific findings or logical reasons. Most often they are coincidental and are usually referred to after the effect. Yet, superstitions are interesting components of the chemistry of Filipinos’ day in and day out activities. These are carefully observed at holidays and special occasions. Notice the Filipinos residing in other countries carry on the superstitions. "Pamahiin lang iyan," and “Masyado kang mapamahiin” are sometimes heard from the Filipinos who want to deviate from superstitions. Undoubtedly, some of the superstitions are practiced by my friends, including me, to make an occasion a fun one. I don’t see any problem with them; superstitions only tell us to be careful with whatever we want to do. I still believe in our Creator and like what Francisco Balagtas Baltazar said,

“Datapuwat sino ang tatarok kaya
Sa mahal mong lihim, Diyos na Dakila
Walang nangyayari sa balat ng lupa
Na ‘di may kagalingang iyong ninanasa.”

Besides, God is all knowing.

New Year's Eve/Day

* Fill up your canisters with rice, sugar, flour, salt, etc. on New Year's Eve. You'll live a plenty for the coming year.

* Don't eat chicken on New Year's Eve/Day. You'll live like chickens; if they don't scratch on the ground, they won't eat.

*Open your windows on New Year's Eve for prosperity during the entire year.

* Refrain from borrowing money on New Year’s Day if you don’t want to be indebted the entire year.

* Wear polka dotted clothes on New Year’s Day. It’s a sign of money.

* Businessmen think that good sale on New Year's Day brings luck for the whole year.

* Toss some coins for the children for good luck.

* Place coins on the window sill on New Year’s Eve and Day for good luck.

* Keep plenty of cash in your wallet or pockets to have plenty of money for the year.

* Avoid pouting on New Year’s Day so as not to pout all year round.

* Jump at exactly 12 Midnight on New Years eve so you get taller (lol I did this, but it didn't work haha)


* Homeowner throws coins on housewarming day to bring luck.

* Count the steps of the house; make sure it's not 13. This is "bilang Hudas" and it's bad luck.

* Make sure the master bedroom is constructed so that it faces the east or has a window facing that direction.

* Open the east window in the morning to let God's grace in.

* Place some coins in the foundation of the cornerstone; or keep them below the master bedroom. However, don't put them by the doorstep or wealth will go away.

* Avoid doors that look like thorough fares.

* When moving into a new home, see to it that rice is brought in first.

* Have your home blessed for safety and good fortune.

* Enthrone a statue of Christ the King; Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Immaculate Heart of Mary or have the statue of the Infant Jesus in the house. Make sure they face the door to greet your guests.

* Toss coins on house warming day for good luck.

* Friends coming to a new home must enter through the front doors.

* Don't buy a house that's directly at the T intersection, it's a bad omen signifying that you'll always be pushed.

* If a shooting star is sighted, there might be a fire. It's good luck if you're able to say tomorrow's day name before the shooting star disappears and a chance to win the "huweteng” game.

* Hang braided/strands of garlic to drive bad spirit away.

Party, Health, Food

* Serve rice noodles on your birthday; it means long life.

* When a spoon falls down, it means a female guest is coming. If a fork falls down, it means a male guest is coming.

* When cooking and the stove flame are dancing/singing; expect that guests are coming.

* When a cat rubs its face with its paws, look at the direction it's facing; that's where your guests are coming from.

* Don't sing while cooking; you might marry an old man.

* Don't take the last piece of food on the platter; you might become an old maid or remain a bachelor.

* Don't clean up the dining table until everyone is finished eating. If the last one is still available', (unmarried) he/she may not get married anymore.

* Don't wash the food container your neighbor brought over; she may not bring you anymore food later.

* When eating is rushed, make sure that the plate used is turned around several times before leaving the dining table, so that the person won't get in an accident.

* Don't eat the food you brought over to the neighbor, you might get skin disease.

* Don't send food home because of spoilage but rather because you want to share.

* If you don't want the food on your plate, don't push your plate away. You may lose your food forever.

* Don't eat too many peanuts or you'll grow pimples.

* When someone is hiccupping, it means that he/she had stolen some eggs from the neighbors hen nest.

* Don't pick your pimples or they'll spread all over your face.

* Don't peep at people while dressing up; you might get a sty.

* If carabao milk and fruits are parts of a meal; be sure that carabao milk is drank first, before eating sour food/fruits, so you won't have stomach ache.

*Don't eat sour fruits while menstruating, you'll have stomach cramps.

* Do not drink coffee; it will retard your growth.

* Do not eat "penoy;" you might end up in the "psychopathic."

* If a fish bone is stuck in your mouth, a breach born person has a healing power that removes it.

* Don't sleep with your hair wet; it will affect your eye sight.

* Don't shower/bathe while menstruating; heat will go to your head, and your blood pressure will rise.

* Don't shower/bathe after ironing a bunch of clothes; you'll get sick.

* Don't just lie down after running; the heat will go straight to your head and will affect your brain.

* Rest your feet before taking a bath; your veins will shrink and you'll have rheumatism.

* Eat cucumbers; they are good for your skin.

* Do not eat mangoes if you have skin rashes or chicken pox; this will worsen the itching of your skin.

* Do not cut your fingernails and toenails on Fridays; you could have bangnails.

* Never open your umbrella in the house; centipedes will fall off the ceiling.


* Lovers must not give rosary or necklace to each other, if it breaks, the relationship might also get broken

* The bride or groom whose candle lasts longer will have a longer life to live.

* Bride: When the priest gives the signal "stand up or kneel down", make sure, you make the first move. This is so the husband does not completely rule over you.

* Never try on your wedding gown; it's a sign that the wedding may be cancelled.

* The Bride and groom shouldn't be traveling to distant places before the wedding; they are accident prone at this time.

* "Sukob sa taon" (within same calendar year) marriages among brothers and sisters must be avoided. There will always be life competitions between the two couples.

* If you were the oldest child, avoid marrying another oldest child. Both of you would tend to lead the other that could lead to problems in life. This is true to the youngest child marrying another youngest child. They'll both feel like wanted to be given attention.

* If you were the youngest child, it's best to marry an oldest child. There will be better understanding between the two of you.

* It's not good to marry someone who has a mole on the face where tears normally flow.

* It's good luck if you marry someone who has a mole on the palms or just below the nostrils.

* Don't ever turn down any offer to sponsor a baptismal, confirmation or wedding. It's a blessing.

* Don't mend or hem clothes while they are on your body if you don't want to bear a child without an anus.

* Eat makopa if you want your child to have rosy cheeks.

* Don't eat "duhat" (blackberry) while attempting to conceive or else your baby will have dark complexion.

* Women with larger hips have an easier time having babies.

* If a pregnant woman's stomach is rounded, she is likely to have a girl; if it's pointed, she's likely to have a boy.

* A pregnant woman will have a girl if when seated and tries to stand up, she starts walking with the right foot; if she uses the left foot, she'll have a boy.

* Expectant mothers must not eat twin bananas to avoid having twin babies.

* Apply lipstick on the baby’s forehead so that the child won’t be “usog.”

* Do not construct a house if the mother is expecting or trying to get pregnant.

* Do not eat ginger root when trying to conceive to avoid having a baby with extra finger or toe.

* If a baby has large earlobes, it means that it will live longer life.

* To stop the baby from bottle feeding or breast feeding; rub fish bile on the nipple.

* When an infant or baby comes to your house for the first time give him/her a small bag of rice to take home so that the child won’t go hungry.

* When coming indoors after an afternoon's game/play with a child; mention or call the child's name before entering the house. It's believed that the child's spirit might be left
outdoors and this would cause the child to have a sleepless night.

* Wrap the newly born baby's umbilical cord, paper and pencil in a plastic bag; throw the bag in the river and watch what happens. If it goes far, it means that the child will go to
distant places and if it's caught by twigs in the water the child may only stay in its hometown/country.


* Don't sit on your books or you'll get dumb.

* Carry books on your head; you'll get smart.

* Use your book as a pillow; you'll get smart.

* Press the book or notebook on your forehead; it helps you in memorizing its contents.

* Wide forehead signifies intelligence.

* If you want your child to be intelligent, have an intelligent person give your baby its first haircut; then keep some in a bible, dictionary or a book.

Dead, Death, and Dying

* When a dog is howling, making a spooky cry, it means that death is coming to someone.

*A beautiful flower or candle scent smelled in a home after a death of a beloved, means there's a spirit of the dead visiting who wants the relatives to know he/she's around. Pray for his/her soul.

* When someone is dying, say "JESUS" out loud so the dying person will hear it and repeat the word for his salvation.

* If a pregnant woman is a close relative of the dead, make sure that she leaves the house first before the body is taken to be buried. She might have a difficult time delivering the baby if she doesn't. (Many visitations are held in homes, and from there the dead are taken to the cemetery.)

* When sending a rosary with the corpse; cut it into pieces. This is believed to hinder anymore tragedy in the family.

* Take the shoes off the corpse; to lessen the spirit's weight in its journey to heaven.

* If the dead person is a mother/father to an infant or a little child, pick up the child and pass him or her over the coffin, so the spirit won't appear to the child.

* A succor asked of the dead is very powerful.

* Don't carry your hands on top of your head; one of your parents might die.

* When you are dreaming and a dead person asks you to come along with him/her, DON'T go.

* It's a bad omen if you dream of riding in a boat.

* If you dreamt of yourself dying; bite the trunk of the tree in your backyard so that bad omen would go to the tree instead of to you.

* If someone dreamt of loosing a tooth, it means that someone in the family might be dying.

* When the funeral procession is passing by your house, awaken the person sleeping; otherwise he/she may be the next one to die.

* If a butterfly comes flattering around inside someone’s house, it means that the spirit of a loved one that had passed away is visiting or reminding the family to pray for the dead; it may also be a reminder that a death anniversary is coming soon.

* Dress all infants in bright red when someone in the family dies so that the spirit of the dead does not appear to the child.

Money/Gift Giving/Receiving

* When giving a purse/wallet as a gift, put some coins/notes in it.

* When transferring contents from an old purse/wallet to a new one, do not invert purse/wallet. It might run empty.

* Never leave a purse on the floor; always set it on something, or your budget might run low.

* It's good to be discrete about your finances but never say "I have no money," or else you might lose money and will really NOT have any money.

* 99 centavos is not a peso. 99 cents is not a dollar.

* Don't accept footwear from a friend; he/she might be stepping on your toes later.

* Don’t accept knives as gift; offer a small amount of money.


* A birth mark around the eye means you are appealing to guys.

* A birth mark on the chest means you are a true lover.

* If someone has a mole on the sole of the foot, it means that person loves to walk all the time.

* If someone has a mole on his back, it means that the person wants to lie around and be plain lazy.

* A mole on the eyebrows means good luck in business.

* A mole on the palm means good luck.

Other Beliefs

* Don't play with spiders; you'll have a difficult time in life

* Never discard dirty, old clothes; wash them first.

* Don't sweep the ground at dusk; the Virgin Mary is taking a walk and might catch the dust in her eyes.

*It's a bad luck to meet a black cat on a Friday morning.

* Breaking a mirror or glass is a bad omen.

* Having a disabled or handicapped child is your luck; caring for the child will give you more fortune.

* When you bit your lip/tongue, it means you're the subject of a conversation.

* When your nose itches, it means that someone is kissing your photo.

* Pull an eyelash to cure a sty.

* When thundering or lighting, recite this “Sancta Maria, Mater Christi, Sanctifica, Salve me.”

Bahay-kubo: Filipino Superstitions

Last edited by pinai; 07-29-2012 at 02:44 PM..
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:13 AM
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That's quite a list there pinai. Thailand has a number of curiosities, some of which are paranormal related.

Magical Tattoos
Some Thais, usually male, get an extensive number of magical tattoos. Looks pretty painful to me. The idea is that such tattoos supposedly protect the individual from harm or endow the wearer with various charms. Some claim they even protect the wearer from bullets. I don't think it would be a wise idea to test that out to see if it works though.

Thai festival celebrates magic of tattoos - YouTube

Magical Amulets and Good Luck Charms
Many Thai amulets supposedly provide protection, good luck, wealth, etc. Most Thais were amulets with the figure of the Buddha or various monks, much in the same way that some people wear charms like crosses or various saints. Amulets are available just about everywhere.

a walk through a Thai Amulet Market - YouTube

Garlands for Good Luck
Many forms of transportation are adorned with garlands for good luck and protection. Here's a taxi with one hanging from the rear-view mirror in Bangkok. Looks like there's an amulet as well.

Bangkok Taxi, Part One- YouTube

Spirit Houses
You'll also find outdoor spirit houses at many homes and businesses all over the country.

Thailand: Spirit Houses - YouTube
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:51 AM
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India (specific to South) has a lot of superstitious belief. Here are a few...

Bad luck:

Do not let your hair down(women)
Do not go for hair cuts on Friday
Do not trim your nails after sun set
Do not sleep @ 6 (during sun set)
Do not lend oil or yogurt to your friend/neighbor after sunset
Do not step on money
Do not sew clothes after sun set
Wearing a black bindi (dot on forehead) is not good for uncle
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Bubchub68 View Post
India (specific to South) has a lot of superstitious belief. Here are a few...

Bad luck:

Do not let your hair down(women)
Do not go for hair cuts on Friday
Do not trim your nails after sun set
Do not sleep @ 6 (during sun set)
Do not lend oil or yogurt to your friend/neighbor after sunset
Do not step on money
Do not sew clothes after sun set
Wearing a black bindi (dot on forehead) is not good for uncle
What's the reasoning for these customs? Interesting that a lot of these seem to apply to sunset.

Thailand also has a custom about not stepping on money, or not using your foot to stop a rolling coin that someone accidentally dropped. The idea behind it is that it's considered extremely disrespectful because all forms of Thai currency includes a picture of the king. Thais don't like the idea of having someone's dirty foot contacting the image of the king or any member of the royal family, even if it's just an image. Royals were revered as gods. Long ago any non-royal Thai could be executed for physically touching a member of royalty, so the tradition remains, as it applies to money, in terms of cultural respect. Although stepping on money may be frowned on, no one is executed these days for such an offense.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:17 AM
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Some of them are blind beliefs and some are related to God and luck. Like money for instance, we associate money with one of our Goddess (Lakshmi). So, if we step on money, then we're stepping on God.

We don't sleep @ sunset since we believe God will visit our houses in the evening when we light our lamp. IF we sleep during that time, God wouldn't want to help people who're not looking forward, hence we don't sleep.

I don't find any reasoning behind sewing, but upon thinking about it, back in the olden days, there were no electricity. People were living off of lamps. So if we sew after sunset, we might poke our finger. Instead of giving an explanation, our elders might have just related it to bad luck so that we won't do it. This is just my reasoning, not sure if it's right.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:12 AM
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Another look at Spirit Houses in Thailand

I have to admit that I don't know much about other SE Asian countries, so I tend to focus on Thailand, which is what I know. But it's interesting to learn about curiosities from other countries too.

These shrines are located all over the country at many homes and businesses. Sometimes they can be found next to highways. There are many different styles of spirit houses. Depending on what can be afforded, some can be very plain and simple while others can be very ornate and elaborate.

In a nutshell, they are usually fashioned with the comforts of home for the spirits as a way to honor the departed, and to bring good luck or protection to the living. Food, drink and other things are often provided for the spirit to enjoy and consume. There are numerous businesses that specialize in making spirit houses, posts and accessories where people can browse and purchase from wide selections on display.

Below are a few videos showing different spirit houses, and an explanation of their purpose. The first one seems a bit creepy, but shows some of the ornamentation associated with spirit houses.

Spirit House - YouTube

Thailand: Spirit Houses - YouTube

Thai Spirit Houses - YouTube

There's a spirit house located by the Ambassador Hotel in Bangkok. A few decades ago, I was having a look at it and asked a Thai who was also there how he knows if there's a spirit that actually lives there. He told me when food is put out in the morning, the spirit eats most of it by the end of the day. Sure enough, some of the food on plates were indeed mysteriously gone. However, I couldn't help but notice that birds, insects and perhaps an occasional lizard or two would also stop by for a bite to eat. I also noticed that some of the non-alcoholic beverages set out tend to evaporate due to the hot, tropical daytime temperatures.
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