Blessings for Our Home: A Buddhist Ceremony

Updated on March 9, 2020
Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul first visited Thailand in 1996 and has been retired in Siam since 2007. He has a beautiful and loving Thai wife and can speak Thai.

Our home in Udonthani, Thailand
Our home in Udonthani, Thailand | Source

In August 2014, my wife Suai and I purchased a large home in Udonthani, Thailand. Before moving in, we had the house cleaned and immediately selected an auspicious date to have our home blessed by Buddhist monks.

After inviting neighbors, friends, and family to our new home, the big anticipated day arrived a few days after my birthday on a rainy morning in the middle of August.

This article primarily relates what I remember happening on the day of the house blessing from the first appearance of guests at around 7:00 am to the conclusion of our offerings to monks and partaking of a brunch at about 11:00. It includes the monks' home blessing ceremony in our living room, offerings to monks, and other rituals to ensure the safety, good luck, and prosperity of our home.

Why Homes Are Blessed

While growing up in a Catholic family, I never attended a home blessing, even after moving to our purchased farm. Although a few neighbors had house and barn warmings, mom and dad were too busy to bother with things like this.

After purchasing a condo in Taiwan and three homes in the United States, I still had never held a house blessing or warming. This all changed after my Thai wife and I purchased a big home in Udonthani, Thailand.

Home blessings are very common ceremonies in almost all religions of the world. I just never experienced one until living in Thailand.

While teaching at a Catholic school in Bangkok, a new classroom building with a library was completed during my first year there. I remember the school being blessed by a priest who walked up and down the corridors sprinkling holy water while saying prayers. The prayers called on God to bestow blessings of good fortune, success, and happiness on the school and its students and teachers.

These same blessings are bestowed by Buddhist monks in Thailand home blessings. The aim of the home blessing which is called keun ban mai in Thai is to bless the home and its occupants. It is hoped that the family occupying the home will live healthy, in prosperity, and with good luck free of evil spirits.

Preparing for a Home Blessing

Shortly after purchasing a home in early August, our preparations for a home blessing began. They consisted of selecting an auspicious date, engaging the services of Buddhist monks, and preparing our home for the blessing.

Since my wife and I had never held a home blessing before, we sought the advice and assistance of my mother-in-law and our new neighbors for selecting a lucky date, getting monks to conduct our home blessing, and preparing for the home blessing.

Traditionally, the Thai consider Friday and Sunday as lucky days and Saturday unlucky for home blessings. I believe that we decided on having our home blessed on Friday, August 15.

My mother-in-law has always had a good relationship with the monks at her village temple. The problem, however, was that the temple was 20 miles away and less than five monks were there. With the advice of my mother-in-law and elderly neighbors, we decided on getting nine monks from a temple near our home. Home blessings should be done by an odd number of monks and nine is the best number. Undoubtedly, this is because nine is considered a lucky number in Thailand.

On the day before the home blessing, our neighbors came over in the morning. They gave us advice on the correct placement of mats, cushions, bowls, candles, and Buddha images which we had prepared for the monks. We decided that it would be best for the monks to sit in our spacious living room. Three would be against side windows. Another three would be against a side wall next to the front door. They would be perpendicular to the monks against the windows and the head monk would be among the three. Finally, three more monks would be sitting against a wall perpendicular to the windows.

Before the neighbors departed, we all walked outside clockwise around our home in a single file three times.

My wife then hired a food service to prepare a buffet brunch on the day of the home blessing. The brunch would be served under our carport and adjoining front driveway area. The food service would provide round tables and chairs for our guests.

Original Seating Arrangement for Monks in our Living Room
Original Seating Arrangement for Monks in our Living Room | Source

Arrival of Guests and Monks on Day of Home Blessing

At around 7:00 a.m. on Friday, guests started arriving for our home blessing. Many were friends and relatives from my wife's home village 20 miles away. About an hour later, neighbors and local friends made their way to our home. Two of the friends were an ex-pat British citizen and his Thai wife. All of the guests sat on the floor in our living room.

At 9:00, nine monks from a nearby temple arrived in a pickup truck. They were quickly ushered into our home and took their seats on the mats and cushions which had previously been arranged. Everyone was a little wet because it had been raining hard all morning.

Neighbors and family members at our Home Blessing
Neighbors and family members at our Home Blessing | Source

Buddhist Home Blessing Ceremony

After the monks were all seated, our home blessing began. It consisted of chants during a soi sin ritual, the sprinkling of lustral water, making alms to the monks, sprinkling lustral water throughout our home, binding of the home with a white string, and making a special white symbol at the front entrance.

1. Soi Sin Ritual

During the soi sin ritual, all monks hold a white string while chanting prayers in the Pali language. The string starts from a Buddha image. It is believed that as the prayers vibrate through the string, they create energy to protect the home and give good luck to its residents.

2. The sprinkling of Lustral Water

The lustral or holy water comes from bowls with wax candles on their rims. As the wax falls in the water, it is believed that this holy water will wash away disease, sorrow, and evil. The head monk sprinkles lustral water on the occupants of the home and their guests.

3. Making Alms to Monks

When the monks arrived, each of them carried a big bowl. Everyone made alms by putting a small ball of sticky rice, some fruit, and a flower in each of the monks' bowls. Also, trays containing dishes of food prepared by a food service were presented to each one of the monks. Alms also consisted of donations that my wife and I made to the monks' temple.

4. Sprinkling Lustral Water Throughout the Home

After the monks sampled each of the presented dishes, it was time to sprinkle lustral water in all rooms of the home. This took place in our living room, dining room, den, kitchen, and three bedrooms upstairs.

5. Binding of Home with a White String

Before departing, the monks supervised the binding of our home with a white string. The purpose of this was to keep bad spirits away from the home.

6. Making a White Mark at the Front Entrance

Finally, above the front entrance of our home, the head monk wrote a Pali symbol using a special white paste.

Buddhist monks blessing our home in Udonthani, Thailand, in August 2014
Buddhist monks blessing our home in Udonthani, Thailand, in August 2014 | Source
Monks holding string during Sai Sin Ritual
Monks holding string during Sai Sin Ritual | Source
Making Alms to the Monks
Making Alms to the Monks | Source

Buddhist Home Blessing Ceremony

Giving Alms to Buddhist Monks during Home Blessing

Monks Partaking of Food Offerings
Monks Partaking of Food Offerings | Source

Partaking of a Buffet Brunch

After the monks left our home at around 10:30, we all shared the food which the monks had not eaten. Food and drink were served on round tables set up in front of our home. Although it was still raining, everyone had a good time.

My British friend David and wife Oat at our buffet brunch
My British friend David and wife Oat at our buffet brunch | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Paul Richard Kuehn


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for reading and your comments, Peggy! Do you happen to know what the Christian house blessing ceremony is like?

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for sharing your home blessing ceremony with us Paul. I have never experienced such a thing and it was interesting to read about and view. May you have many happy years in your new home!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)