Laughing Buddha (Hotei) Statues

The Laughing Buddha's image graces many Buddhist temples, restaurants, and amulets, as he has become a deity of contentment and abundance. The image of Hotei is almost always seen carrying a cloth or linen sack (that which never empties) which is filled with many precious items, including rice plants (indicating wealth), candy for children, food, or the woes of the world. He is patron of the weak, poor and children.

Laughing Buddha statues depict a stout, smiling or laughing bald man in robes with a largely exposed pot belly stomach, which symbolizes happiness, good luck, and plenitude. Some sculpture has small children at his feet. Another item that is usually seen with the Laughing Budda figure is a begging bowl to represent his Buddhist nature. All of these images display Hotei as a wandering monk who goes around and takes the sadness from people of this world.

According to legend, rubbing the Laughing Buddha's great belly brings forth wealth, good luck, and prosperity. Hotei is also the patron saint of restaurateurs, fortunetellers and bartenders — when one overeats or over-drinks, friends jokingly attribute it to the Laughing Buddha's influence.

Below is a selection of Laughing Buddhas available to buy from Exotic India Art, Amazon.com and other quality online merchants. Click a link or image below for product details and ordering information.

Featured Laughing Buddhas

Laughing Buddha Statues on eBay