Spirit Houses

spirithouseI discovered Spirit Houses on a bumpy dusty back road in the countryside near Angkor, Cambodia. I noticed these cute little houses in everyone’s yard. It seemed that poor folks had makeshift versions, while rich families had fancier ones. Some were lit up with lights and candles while others had figurines. They all had incense and offerings and it turns out they are very popular throughout Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

No one likes nosy relatives poking around in their affairs and that’s where the Spirit House comes in handy. When a loved one passes onto the spirit world you want to make sure they don’t stick around wreaking havoc in your life. In Asian homes it is not uncommon for families to share the same house for generations. Lurking spirits can be a pesky problem, so the solution is to build them their very own abode and place it outside. A Spirit House is a replica of a tiny dollhouse (think the size of trolls not barbie) perched on a pedestal planted in the ground.

Spirit House Rules:

Paint it. Decorate it. Light incense to send prayers to heaven. And don’t forget to prepare daily offerings. Each Spirit House has its own unique personality and that’s the charm. They can never be tossed out and need to be buried in a Spirit House graveyard or left beneath a banyan tree.

 

 

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