Skip to main content

Spirit House

As a Buddhist country, Thailand has plenty of beliefs and practices arising from Animism or Spirit Worship. A major feature of animistic practice is the spirit house. Its purpose is to provide dwelling for spirits or celestial beings on land. Thais believe that spirits are either good or evil and most expect respect from humans, like being informed if humans would want to start a business in a certain spot. If these spirits aren't, they can cause disastrous interference to any venture. (Reference: Chiangmai and Chiangrai)

A Thai spirit house can be seen in front of homes, hospitals, company buildings, everywhere. You can see it "on a pedestal in front of every hotel. It dresses the corner garden area of a restaurant ... at outdoor food markets. They are built on the grounds of Buddhist temples, outside caves in the mountains, near fishing ponds in the valleys, and occasionally in the middle of an otherwise uninhabited forest." (Source: Uniquely Thai)

This is a spirit house in front of a university on a rainy day. Everyday employees pass by it as they scan their finger in computers beside the gate to report for work. Buddhist/Thai employees wai at it. The international staff, some after having been around for many years, tend to duck their heads as they make their way in and out the campus.

The same spirit house at night.


My World Tuesday is brought to you by Klaus and the My World Team Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Sylvia

Comments

Anonymous said…
thank you for such an informative post.
Hazel said…
You're welcome, Ewok
Carver said…
Very interesting post and photographs.
Indrani said…
I had seen them, never knew so much about them. Thank you so much for explaining. :)
Rajesh said…
Wonderful shots. Seeing for the first time, anything like this.
Hazel said…
Thank you Carver, Indrani and Rajesh
Al said…
That is fascinating. There's something like this in my local Thai restaurant on the counter, and I think you just explained what it is. I never asked them, because I didn't want to seem like an ignorant American!
Anonymous said…
I've never heard of these. Maybe I should live in one. LOL. Seriously the are cool looking. It would seem to me that you would have to have a big piece of property to own one. They look huge. Thanks for sharing. Wai Here means water.
Hazel said…
Al, I guess I wouldn't ask either if it was the other way around for me, lol!
Hazel said…
Not necessarily, Thom. Small property, small spirit house, something like that :) Thanks for sharing your 'wai.'
Sylvia K said…
Such a very interesting and informative post! One of the things I love most about blogging is how much I have learned about other countries, communities, religions and I think that kind of knowledge is what we all need to make all of our worlds better places in which to live! Thank you! And thank you for your visit and comment, always appreciated! Hope you have a wonderful week, Hazel!

Sylvia
Hazel said…
Sylvia, indeed! I am enjoying the learning from many different places, and with all the beautiful photos to boot in many blogs. Thank you for stopping by.
Marites said…
Interesting! it looks nice too. have a good week! My world entry is here
darly said…
wow, that's one interesting post. learned a lot. i guess there's one form or another of animism in all religions.
Ebie said…
Besides the great information you shared about the Spirit House, I am so intrigued with this high tech finger scan. Its like the movies!

One thing I have learned about Thai people (I worked with 3), they are so religious.
Hazel said…
Marites, thanks.

Darly, glad you learned something :)
Hazel said…
Ate Eb, the bosses seem to reckon card-swiping was getting outdated. they made us all do finger scan for awhile now :)

Popular posts from this blog

Weekend Snapshot: The AIDS Temple (Lopburi I)

It is sometimes referred to as the AIDS Museum, I tend to call it AIDS Temple. Descriptively it is a buddhist hospice for AIDS patients, the largest one in Thailand. Three of us, a friend, my son and I paid Wat (temple) Phrabat Nampu in Lopburi a visit last weekend. As it is where people with AIDS go to to die, most of what we saw are not exactly the ones I'm in a hurry to show off. But if you are curious, you may want to click on a post I did days ago. Anyway, on with shots that I don't think will give anyone a coronary:

100 steps to the wat
After the climb this is where you arrive at

"View from the top" - those are bare cornfields visitors pass by on their way to the temple

Side view of the Life Museum which ironically displays mummies

A usual sight around Thai temples

Bone sculptures

The temple bell

Life is beautiful. Most of us would prefer that of course. AIDS is also real.

Rumford

The Rumford is a much more efficient way to heat a room than earlier fireplaces....(Wikipedia on Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, designer of tall, shallow fireplaces which are now known as the Rumford, was an Anglo-American physicist known for his investigations of heat)Living in the tropics, I have been in close proximity with only three fireplaces in my life. There was an unused one in the home of my college professor in the Philippines. The other one from which I could feel the heat and see the fire dancing was in a hotel lobby in the Yorkshire Moors. Picture taking was quick. Two old ladies were having tea by it, but that was my first ever real fireplace experience, and I loved it. The latest I have touched is the one in Jane Austen's imaginary Northanger Abbey.
The fireplace, where she had expected the ample width and ponderous carvings of former times, was contracted to a Rumford, with slabs of plain though handsome marbles, and ornament over it of the prettiest English ch…

Honor, Awards and a Game

Tuesday Couch Potatoes: Made of Honor
Awards and a Game/Meme follow. Please scroll down a bit.


My pick for this week's TCP theme (wedding movie) is Made of Honor. I like the humor in it. We've all been to several weddings but how many of us can say I've been to one in which the maid of honor was a he? The scene which particularly cracked me up is when the priest mistook the maid of honor for a gay man =) If you're familiar with some of my likes, you'd know why I also love the Scotland location of the wedding. For more of the synopsis click here; and here's the trailer:
Head over to Just About Anything for more wedding movies.

************

My super duper bloggy friend Thom of Thom's Place for Well Whatever and fellow Mom Tetcha of Pensive Thoughts awarded me this Beautiful Blogger award. I have to list seven things about me so here they are:

1. I love wearing jeans more than skirts.
2. One of my favorite colors is purple.
3. I don't mind spending sunrise…