Anggara Mahendra

The Spirit House

The practice of animism is very obvious in Thailand, although 95 percent of its people are Buddhist. However, they still believe in supernatural spirits.

The Thais believe that every home has its own invisible guards who live on the front gates of the house. They call these guards Saan Chao Thii and Saan Phra Phum.

Instead of getting rid of them, they believe that providing a special space in each house and befriending the spirits are a better solution. They believe it will also create harmony in the world.

When Thais are about to leave their house, they inform Saan Chao Thii, or the House Spirit. They keep grandpa or grandma dolls as a symbol of the spirits. Other symbols are dancer or elephant dolls. Thais usually feed them red soda drinks, especially in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

This tradition is similar to a practice in Bali. Balinese Hindus also believe that each house is guarded by spirits who live on the front gates. The Balinese also provide offerings for the spirits.