Thai Zodiac Signs

A temple display showing Thai zodiac signs

Thai Zodiac Signs

Thai Zodiac Signs are closely related to the Chinese Zodiac as both follow the same 12 year lunar cycle. In Thai zodiac signs the dragon is replaced by a "large snake" and in Northern Thailand an elephant may be used in place of the Chinese sign for the pig. The attached photograph has some zodiac signs on display and invites visitors, to the temple where it was photographed, to make a donation. However more of that in a moment. Firstly here is a table where you can see how all twelve Thai Zodiac signs are written in Thai along with how they might be referred to in colloquial Thai. By the way I have found two words that are used in Thai for zodiac, ปีนักษัตร, for the year of birth sign and ราศี for zodiac/star position.

Thai Zodiac SignEnglish MeaningColloquial Thai word for animal in Zodiac sign preceded by
ปี
English Meaning
ชวดRatหนูMouse or Rat
ฉลูOxวัวOx or Cow
ขาลTiger เสือTiger
เถาะRabbitกระต่ายRabbit or Hare
มะโรงDragonงูใหญ่Python or large snake
มะเส็งSnakeงูเล็กSnake
มะเมียHorseม้าHorse
มะแมGoatแพะGoat
วอกMonkey ลิงMonkey
ระกาRoosterไก่Chicken
จอDogสุนัขDog
กุนPig: In northern Thailand may be replaced by ElephantหมูPig

So to today’s Thai sign. As I said it was photographed in a temple and contains six of the zodiac signs listed in the table above. Check if you can identify them. You will probably need to open the photograph in another widow to get all the words clearly. If you do this you will also see that the English translation of ชวด(Rat) is wrong. Given that in colloquial Thai it would be หนู(rat or mouse) I fancy the artist had a problem spelling mouse!

The rather arty script on the sign(repeated six times) tells you to put coins and notes in the container above. While the more traditional font used in the writing at the bottom of the sign tells you why you should make a donation. It says:

เชิญ-ทำบุญ-สะ-เดาะ-เคราะห์-บูชา-ราศี-ประจำปี-เกิด

เชิญ = invite + ทำบุญ = merit(gift) + สะ-เดาะ-เคราะห์ = change ones luck + บูชา = offer + ราศี = zodiac + ประจำปี-เกิด = year was born

So according to the sign;  one can change one’s luck by making a gift(money) to the zodiac of the year you were born. Pity there were only six on display, not sure what you do if you are like me and born in the year of the dog  or one of the other Thai zodiac signs not represented :-)

Thai Zodiac Signs, Horoscopes and Fortune Tellers.

As I noted in a post about fortune tellers in Thailand, Thais as a rule are fairly superstitious so I guess it follows that they are also enjoy horoscopes generated from their zodiac signs. Both of the Thai English language newspapers have dedicated sections for horoscopes.  I particularly like the one in the Bangkok Post.  I thought I would see what it says about ideal jobs for me:

Idea Jobs for Dog: Priest, Nun, Trade union leader, Teacher, Charity worker, Nurse, Doctor, Judge, Lawyer, Scientist, Researcher, Social Worker, Lawyer, Community worker.

Not bad! Although I am now retired,  I have worked as a charity worker, police officer and   teacher.

If you would like to check out your horoscope using the Thai and Chinese zodiac signs click here.

About Mike Rose (74 Articles)
Mike Rose is a seasoned traveller and award winning blogger with a good knowledge of Thailand, its people and culture. Mike is currently learning to read the Thai language. He is also a keen amateur wildlife photographer.