I saw them often during my travels through Thailand. The colorful and ornate spirit houses resemble miniature temples that are strategically positioned outside every home, business, school and in public areas. But what is it all above? Spirits abound everywhere in Thailand, and Thai people go out of their way to keep them happy.
Spirit worship is probably the oldest form of religion in the world, and when Buddhism came to Southeast Asia, it developed alongside the ancient spirit worship already in place. Today many of the beliefs remain intertwined with Buddhism and form part of everyday life for Thai people. One of these practices is the use of spirit or ghost houses.
The construction can be simple. They can be constructed of wood, concrete or brick, and one often sees roadside shops with hundreds of colorful houses for sale. They are often decorated with little figurines of people and animals, incense holders and vases for flowers and some contain furniture.The position is very important. Spirit houses should never be placed where the shadow of the building will fall on it.
Families who believe in the spirit house and its importance, light incense every morning and ask the spirit to watch over and protect the home. The traditional offering include flower garlands, betel leaves, bananas, rice, chicken, duck, and a wide range of other things.
Are you planning to buy a house in Thailand? Be sure you will not upset the spirits then!