Why Is Mae Ya Nang Popularly Worshiped Among Vehicle Users?

According to Thai belief, every tree has a guardian; the goddess Mae Ya Nang, the keeper of boats, has been revered since ancient times. When a tree is cut down and changed into a ship, its caregiver does not leave but instead remains to protect the vessel.

Speeders and drunk drivers are letting down the ancient deity who helps protect Thai travelers. Mae Ya Nang’s belief began with sailing, but it has since expanded to include other vehicles such as automobile parts. As a result, you might very well notice that Thai people have intercessory prayers for all types of cars.

What Is The Significance Of Mae Ya Nang Worship?

It is a popular belief which is followed by several drivers in many regions of Thailand. It is where the drivers place a small statue of Lord Buddha right in front of the dashboard pointing toward the road up ahead. Another statue of Buddha is fixed at the rear end of the car overlooking the vehicles and road behind. This is a practice that ensures that the vehicle is protected from any accidents and also provides a sense of safety in the mind of the concerned driver.

This practice is followed by almost every individual driving a car as people believe that a divine presence will help them and keep them protected from road accidents. It is a symbol of safety and ensures that all journeys end safely. Thus, the practice of Mae yanang worship is a popular custom in Thailand.

What Is The History Behind Mae Ya Nang?

Mae Ya Nang, or the Guardian Goddess of Boats, is a long-standing Thai belief that fishers established. Folks believe every tree has a guardian (Nang Mai) who looks after it like a Greek nymph. Once one tree is cut down and converted into a boat, its guardian, known as “Mae Ya Nang,” would never leave to safeguard the vessel.

Mae Ya Nang can be observed in every ship. Fishers believe Ma Ya Nang will protect every crew member on board. Consequently, anglers will make conventional oblations to Mae Ya Nang in return for a prosperous career, a large catch of fish, protecting their crew from harm, and so on.


The traffic issue in Thailand is comparatively busier and consequently more dangerous when compared to western countries. Therefore, the practice of Mae yanang worship [ไหว้แม่ย่านางรถ – which is the term in Thai], the goddess of journeys is popularly followed all around the country.

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