Happy Man Folklore

The Laughing Buddha


This particular form of the Buddha - one of many Buddha’s – is the bringer of good luck. This Asian deity is believed to be able to also offer contentment and abundance. Buddha, means ‘Awakened One’ and is at the heart of the Buddhist religion. An awakened one is someone who sees things as they really are. They realize mental delusions are not reality and they are credited with having great compassion for all living beings.

There are many different types of Laughing Buddha who is often depicted with a belly and jolly smile. Some records suggest that his appearance is based upon a Buddhist Zen monk who lived more than 1000 years ago,. In short, this figure represents the possibility of having all one wishes for: wealth, happiness or satisfaction.

Variations of this happy man include:

Laughing Buddha playing with children. Generally, this symbolizes good fortune coming from heavens.

Laughing Buddha with a bowl. The bowl depicts a monk's life. It represents renunciation of material possessions.

Laughing Buddha with a fan. It is said that waving of fan by Buddha sculpture depicts banishment of troubles.

Laughing Buddha with a sack or bag. This traveler collects people's sadness and woes and puts them in his sack.

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