Observations of Traditional Religion Day 14

Let’s continue the observations of spirits and houses. Traditional Thai houses are built on stilts for the purpose of protecting against flooding and animals coming into the house. The threshold sits at the top of the stairs. What makes the threshold different in a Thai house is the step that runs along the bottom of the doorway. This step holds significance in two ways for a Thai house.

First, the spirits that protect the house reside here. The spirits do not come into the house, but they stay on the border of the house to keep out evil spirits and keep the family safe from evil.

Second, the step blocks the wrong spirits from entering the house. In many houses, you will see this step between the doorway into most rooms. If you are not careful when going to the bathroom at night, you could easily trip over the step.

The most important thing to remember when crossing the threshold into a house is to never step on this step. Stepping on the threshold can and will disturb the spirits that protect the house. A Thai person will be very careful not to disturb the spirits. They take great care to leave their shoes outside the door and step carefully over the threshold into their house.

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