Accumulated luck


These flowers chains are bought daily to bring luck (ideally in the form of more business for the purchaser, in this case). After being purchased from a mobile vendor during the owner’s commute, they are hung on this shop’s shrine dedicated to Buddha – a universal feature of most shops here in Myanmar. As part of the daily closing ritual, the strand of jasmine is moved from the shrine to this formidable bundle suspended from the ceiling, and their space on the Buddha shrine replaced fresh flowers the next day. The stall owner could not recall for how long he had been hanging them. He said his reason for starting this practice was because although the flowers’ appearance degraded after one day on display, their sweet fragrance persisted for days afterwards.


It begs the question – how fast does the good luck these flowers are meant to bring degrade? Slower than their physical beauty? Quicker than their scent? What are the particular properties/characteristics of the luck these flowers are meant to bring? Does hanging them in this way amplify the individual flower chains’ potency – creating a force of luck greater than the sum of their parts? Do the luck of these temporary, fleeting objects vary in character from that of other, more permanent talismans? Consider the particular physics of fortune surrounding the talismans in your own context.

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