spirit houses. they’re everywhere here in chiang mai. throughout thailand, really. but since i’ve not been out of the north, i’m gonna stick with what i’ve seen. i had assumed that these were related to buddhism. you see them on temple grounds so i’d just figured they went hand and hand. but they really have nothing to do with buddhism. they come from animism. and when buddhism made it’s way to thailand, the thais sort of incorporated the two.
the articles i’ve read about spirit houses, including the one i’ve linked to, say that all thai homes and businesses will have a spirit house. that’s not exactly so. christians – i’ve been told they’re about .5% of the population – will have removed them or never had them. but there are certainly plenty of them around. while i was out walking today i remembered to take my camera. (something i’ve been forgetting to do alot lately.) and i took pictures of the spirit houses i saw within about a 1/10 of a mile radius of our house. these are the ones that were highly visible, no peeking around corners or into yards looking for them. also, radius is probably the wrong word. because really they’re from a semicircle – i only went north. not south.