Forget Blood Sacrifice! Today's Discerning Ghosts Prefer Strawberry Fanta

Image: Patrick Winn

In Thailand, it's customary to offer food to the spirits or ghosts of one's ancestors - you often see "spirit houses" with offerings of fruits, fried rice, and flowers. But what about thirsty ghosts? Skip the blood sacrifice, because today's discerning ghosts prefer Strawberry Fanta:

Fanta has been a choice spirit offering for decades — so long that millennial Thais often find this phenomenon to be utterly unremarkable. But how, exactly, did this come to be? The answer, it seems, is buried under layers of folklore and ancient ritualism.

“It’s just a tradition,” says Chatgaew Pinjulai, a 50-year-old woman who sells Fanta and other spirit offerings by the roadside. “A very pervasive tradition.”

Angelic spirits like sweet things, she says, and Strawberry Fanta is nothing if not sweet. The typical Thai-sized serving is an 8.5-ounce bottle packed with 32 grams of sugar. It is a high-calorie, syrupy brew, perhaps best suited for beings that cannot gain mass.

Read the rest in this interesting article by Patrick Winn over at PRI.

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