Many Thai people believe that when a Thai family builds a new house, there is always the possibility that it has disturbed the spirits who live on the property.
In order to protect their new home from the spirits revengeful harm or mischief, some Thai families put up a little model house (SAN PHRA PHUM) on a pole for the spirits to live in. The spirit house must be located somewhere on the grounds where the shadow of the human house will never fall on it.
Offerings of incense, candles, fruit, drinks, flower garlands, rice, chicken, eggs, betel leaves and little figurines representing servants, dancers, elephants, and cars, will be placed here, because the spirits must be kept happy at all costs.
Amazingly enough, though they look like houses and are temptingly stocked with food, the spirit houses are almost never occupied by birds. Perhaps even the birds respect these invisible beings.
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