Blessing a new house in Thailand is an important ceremony for Thai people when they move home. The ceremony called, ขึ้นบ้านใหม่ in Thai, is a combination of a Buddhist beliefs and superstition.
ขึ้นบ้านใหม่, literally translated means, “going up into a new house.” This name probably came about because many traditional Thai houses are built on stilts and people need to go up some stairs to enter the dwelling.
The ceremony is usually in two parts which could be on the same day but are often not. The first part of the ceremony starts when a family occupies a new house, firstly they move in the heavy furniture, but do not actually live in the house. This only happens when they have chosen a lucky day to move in. According to Thai folklore Saturdays are considered unlucky but Fridays and Sundays are good. The lunar cycle is also important in the Buddhist calendar and the month should have an even number if possible.
Finally on the day chosen, the family will arrive at a particular hour (a lucky number) bringing with them their personal Buddha symbols, food and money. In the latter case the money is brought to ensure their future prosperity while living in the house. At this point the family may live in the home.
Monks Blessing a New House in Thailand
The second part of the ขึ้นบ้านใหม่ ceremony, is a Buddhist ceremony involving monks visiting the new home and blessing it and its new occupants. Usually people will invite nine monks to conduct the ceremony if they can afford them, but an odd number should be chosen. Sometimes you will see three five or seven monks carrying out the blessing.
Before the monks arrive for the actual ceremony white thread, ด้ายสายสิญจน์, is draped around the house and garden to keep out spirits and signify the area to be consecrated in the blessing. ด้ายสายสิญจน์ literally means, holy thread, you will find that it makes appearances at other Buddhist ceremonies in Thailand such as funerals and marriages.
The monks, when they arrive, spend some time chanting and will also pass a white thread from one to another. At the end of the religious chants the householder offer the monks gifts and finally food to eat. After the monks have eaten and just before they leave the senior monk will mark each door to the home with white paste which seems to signify a final protection for the home against evil spirits.
Usually the occupants of the house that is blessed invite friends and neighbours to the ceremony providing shade, food and drink for their guests. The ceremony(minus the religious devotions) might well be likened to a house warming party in the West.
After a period of time most Thai householders add a spirit house in the garden of their home, this is so that any spirits displaced by the house blessing or builing of the home might have somewhere outside the home to live.