Is Happy Buddha really a Buddha?

The image of the Laughing Buddha is based on a wandering Chinese monk, Budai (Hotei, in Japanese) who lived centuries ago and is believed to be Maitreya, or the Buddha to come. The statue’s plump figure and benign countenance suggest contentment, magnanimity, and plenitude. Often called Laughing Buddha, his signature smile is symbolic of pure contentment and joy. Happy Buddha is considered a symbol of good luck, and it is thought that rubbing his big head or belly brings fortune and wealth.

But he’s more than just a good luck charm. Happy Buddha also represents enlightened awareness- his cloak, walking stick and traveling bag are reminders to pay attention to the journey before us, instead of only focusing on the destination. The Laughing Buddha’s big belly is a symbol of tolerance; also, that prosperity and wealth can go hand-in-hand with enlightened awareness.

Happy Buddha Hand Positions

What is the significance of different hand positions of Laughing Buddha?

The laughing Buddha statue is a symbol of happiness and contentment. The Laughing Buddha is seen in different postures, each having a different significance.

  • Buddha with a money bag and a gold ingot represent wealth and good fortune.
  • The Standing Happy Buddha brings riches and happiness.
  • Buddha sitting on a large gold nugget with a smaller nugget in his hand ready for giving to others. This position of the Laughing Buddha is symbolic of good luck.
  • Buddha sitting with his fan hat on his head represents enjoyment and good fortune.
  • Buddha holding a gold ingot with his hands upright signifies abundant riches and good luck.
  • Buddha with a fan in one hand and wu lou (bottle gourd) in the other hand brings blessings and good health. The fan wards off misfortune while the wu lou protects from illness.
  • Buddha carrying a bag of gold on his shoulder symbolizes prosperity.
  • Buddha carrying a bag of blessings on his right shoulder and a fan in his left hand protects you and keeps you safe during long journeys.
  • Buddha with a travel stick in his hand protects you from harm during journeys.


What is the significance of Turtle Dragon with Happy Buddha in Happy Buddha Statues?

Happy Buddha Statue Turtle Dragon

The statue of a Happy Buddha sitting on a Dragon Turtle signifies happiness, good luck and fortune. The Dragon Turtle sitting on a bed of coins and gold ingots is a distinct representation of wealth and prosperity. The Dragon Turtle is a Chinese legendary symbol depicting the dragon’s head and the turtle’s body. The dragon represents courage and strength. The turtle stands for support and stability. This powerful combination of two Feng Shui symbols brings together the qualities of the dragon and the turtle, which indicates long life, permanence and success. The Happy Buddha on a Dragon Turtle is known to be a perfect remedy to combat bad luck which comes in the form of illness, financial losses, and mishaps.