You may be surprised to know that Thai people are actually quite superstitious and have various protection ceremonies for buildings, homes, and even their cars. Today we’re going to teach you about the special ceremony that takes place before building commences on all 999 Development properties here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Each property built begins with a sacred pillar. This pillar is considered an important structure of the home, sort of like a support column of sorts, although in this case, it’s more of spiritual support.
The main pillar is what Thais believe will bring stability to the home in reference to structural integrity, personal and spiritual safety, and protection. The pillar is blessed to ensure that those living in the home can rest assured that they will be safe from any dangers.
The ceremony includes asking the spirits for permission to build and asking for forgiveness for altering the natural state of the land. It is carried out by local monks who bless the land to be built upon and sing special chants to imbue the spirits and garner their support.
When Does The Ceremony Take Place?
Typically, you will first contact a local wat (temple) and inform a monk of your intentions. First, he will help you determine an auspicious date. This is usually determined using the house owner’s year of birth. This date will also determine which location on the property the sacred pillar should be placed.
Next, the monk will suggest an auspicious time of day for the ceremony to occur. The start of building ceremonies will take place in the morning, usually at a time that has the number 9 in it. Popular times are 9:00 am or 9:09 am because the number 9 (kao) is similar to the word kaew which roughly translates to blessed progress and prosperity.
How to Prepare the Main Pillar?
Traditionally, the main pillar was made from wood, as most houses were made from wood or teak. Nowadays, modern homes such as the ones designed and built by 999 Developments, are made from concrete. It’s more common now to have a concrete pillar.
Once the location has been determined, a hole must be dug and the pillar installed. This should be done 1 day before the expected ceremony to let the land settle and recognize that it is to be built upon.
There must also be 9 holes in the pillar to install 9 pieces of sacred wood during the ceremony.
What Auspicious Items and Offerings to Prepare for the Ceremony
Each locality has its own special requirements that may be different from those below, however, these are the most commonly requested items.
- Set up an altar table with the following items
- Provide 1 set of offerings for the monks which includes holy water, and amulets which will help cast a special ‘spell.’
- Prepare food offerings for the spirits such as fresh fruit, desserts, grains such as sesame seeds or rice, betel nuts, fresh milk or freshwater.
- You’ll need gold and silver coins, 9 of each, afterwards 1 of each coin should be given to the monks for performing the talisman ceremony.
- There must also be 3 gold leaf sheets.
- Make sure to provide incense and candles and a lighter
- You’ll need 1 bowl of consecrated sand
- 1 bowl of holy water and 1 handful of ya kha
- 1 small roll of saisin thread (white string)
- 3 colours of satin fabric for covering the pillar
- 1 banana shoot
- 1 sugar cane shoot
- 1 bowl of popped rice (looks like popcorn) mixed with marigold petals, jasmine flowers and orchids, and scatter this around the ceremonial area.
- 9 auspicious types of wood such as ratchaphruek, jackfruit, chaiyapruek, thonglang, sisuk bamboo, teak, rosewood, and kangrao.
The Ceremonial Proceedings
- Bring banana shoots, sugarcane shoots, and three-coloured cloth or loincloth to be tied to the main pillar before the auspicious time of the ceremony.
- Prepare the altar near the pillar
- The host or house owner will light incense and candles at the altar table which will be followed by praying and praying for prosperity. After that, three incense sticks will be lit for the guests and the villagers who attended the ceremony.
- Bring prepared auspicious items such as the gold leaf, silver and gold coins, and the 9 auspicious wooden sticks for the host to hammer into the holes of the main pillar.
- The monks are then Invited to sprinkle holy water, sprinkle holy sand, sprinkle rice and place flowers into the pillar pit. They will anoint and cover the pillar in the gold leaf
- The host/homeowner and participants will hold the saiyan (white string) together while raising the main pillar
- The monk or host will then sprinkle the rice with flowers and holy water around the construction site.
Other procedures may occur in addition to these depending on the local constituents and local customs.
Once the traditional thai ceremony of the auspicious ceremony of raising the main pillar is complete, the building can go ahead and your dream home can be built. You can also be at peace of mind knowing your future home is protected.
999 Developments is committed to providing the best homes for its customers including providing the start of the building ceremony. We pay attention to every detail, whether it’s respecting local customs or the best quality materials that we have carefully selected. Standardized construction by a team of qualified technicians or even the auspiciousness of the residents. You can trust in the quality and peace of mind in every 999 Developments home.