Buddhism, the predominant religion in many eastern countries, remains strong in Thailand, where it is a stabilising influence that has aided the country in the turmoil afflicting the whole region.
Buddhism, the predominant religion in many eastern countries, remains strong in Thailand, where it is a stabilising influence that has aided the country in the turmoil afflicting the whole region. Thais have always held a deep spiritual reverence for Buddhism, and there are more than 20,000 temples in the country. "Spirit houses" are established in front of each private house and often outside hotels and office buildings. Many worship at these spirit houses, and offer incense and flowers.
The Buddha images seen everywhere are mass-produced like household goods, but acquire sanctity after being blessed at a special ceremony attended in a temple by a hundred monks.
SYNOPSIS: Spirit houses are a familiar sight in Thailand. They're set up in front of nearly every house, and many offices and hotels.
Buddhism has always been a stabilising influence in Thailand, and people are constantly seen praying at the spirit houses.
Buddhist Temples are also a big tourist attraction, and there are ??? than 20,000 in Thailand.
But Buddha is also big bu???, and the familiar image is on everywhere, with other items used in the Buddhist religion.
Workshops are busy turning out various versions of the Buddha figure, ranging from the cheap mass-produced models to expensive hand-made statuettes.
The Buddhas are treated as just another item of household equipment ??? they are made. They do not become ???y objects until they have been ???sed in a temple ceremony attended by a hundred monks.
Spirit houses are another big business in Bangkok. Many of the chei??? are highly decorated when they are finished, flowers and elephants being a favourite theme.
This spirit house will soon b??? established in front of someone's home, where it will be cherished and maintained as a vital part off the household for family prayers.