Phallic Shrine Says No More Big Penises!
Phallic Symbols are known as “Palad Khik” – and are revered as "lucky charms" or amulets, and can be worn, hung on the car rearview mirror, or carried in ladies purses.
In Thailand, "worship" and "sex toys" often go hand-in-hand, although not intentionally so. Various temples, and temple-esque locations around the country are adorned with phallic symbols. The phallus, aka "lingam", is a representation of the male erect penis, often created with various sized heads or "glans" according to the history.
It is believed that women carry them to ward off thieves and those who wish to harm them; men wear them to bring good luck — financially and with the women; boys wear them around their neck to keep them safe. Business owners will display these various phallic symbols in their place of business in hopes of brining good fortune and success.
The most famous is the "Chao Mae Tuptim shrine", aka the "Penis Shrine". The temple is covered in penis replicas, of every shape and size, all the way to the size of a canoe. These symbols were thought to have special powers and to bring good luck and fortune, as well as fertility, on all who came in contact. Women hoping to get pregnant leave the offerings (the penis toys), asking the spirits for luck in pregnancy. If the woman's wish was fulfilled, she will return to the shrine and leave another phallus as a thank you.
Penis worship has played a major part in religious history. Various cultures and religions have worn amulets of small penises, as well as praying to huge phallic statues. Wiki has a unique page on the history of the phallus if you need to penis knowledge. It also brings about discussion of "sexuality as spirituality" — something difficult to discuss for most people!
However, in an interesting dichotomy, sex toys are illegal in Thailand. And that created problems for Pranang Cave near the Railay Beach in Krabi, as it was inundated with wooden penises and other sex toys. The cave was not considered to be a "fertility shrine". People believed that the cave was the home of a mythical sea princess, and because of that princess, the cave was generally known with fertility.
Local authorities felt the items were disrespectful to those who wanted to worship at the cave. Interestingly, citizens and worshippers weren't the ones complaining — only authorities once the pictures of the cave and sex toys went viral.
If you are bored, go to Google images and search for "penis statue". The results are astounding from all over the world!
The Bangkok temple is quite unusual and quite interesting.