Moving-in Rituals From Around the World
27 May 2016
Moving home can be a tricky process. With bags and boxes to pack in all directions alongside family, transport and finances to coordinate, it’s important that your new home is 100% ready for you to move right in. For some, the moving-in process isn’t complete without performing their customary moving-in ritual. If you haven’t adopted a ritual yet, don’t fear as we’ve scoured the internet to find the most interesting global, essential and niche rituals that this world has to offer.
House warming party
So you’ve bagged yourself a shiny new house, you’ve filled it with things you love and you’re surrounded by the people you care about the most- why not show it all off to your friends and family? This is probably the most well-known moving in ritual from around the world. Put together a few simple nibbles, a selection of refreshing drinks, load up some cool tracks and let the invites fly. Your guests are sure to be as excited about snooping around your new home as you are about showing it off. Not only this, but it’s a full-proof way to meet your new neighbours.
The blessing of the home with sage is an age-old cleansing ritual used by Native American and shamanic cultures to remove negative energy from a space. If you’ve found the moving process to be a stressful experience, then taking the spiritual approach might be a good option for you. Once everything is set in your home, open every window and door before lighting the sage smudge stick (that you presumably bought earlier) and allow it to smoulder. Blow it out quickly to allow the smoke to filter through the rooms before waving it around, reaching every nook and cranny. Once the ritual is complete, you should give yourself a ‘sage shower’, which is probably the opposite of the herby shower you probably have in mind. Simply cup your hands over the smoke and wash your face with it. Cleansing complete, any bad energy has now ventured off into a faraway place.
Lighting a candle on your first evening in a new home
If you’re lighting a candle on your first evening in a new home, let’s assume it’s not because you lack electricity, but you are in fact looking to perform a house warming ritual. By lighting a candle in the home, it is said to ward off evil spirits through the addition of light, and many religions will do so whilst saying a prayer. If you want to take it one step further, then lighting a fire is the ultimate house warming exercise (literally), as fire symbolises strength, purity and good.
Meanwhile, over in China
Over in China, the people have a very specific and widely spread set of moving-in traditions that no native would ever step foot into their new home without performing. Firstly, upon leaving the old home, a party of epic proportions must be thrown, fireworks and all. Don’t forget to invite the neighbours! Fast forward to moving in day and let’s do it all again, except, this time it’s all firecrackers and cheer.
Thai people have a moving-in ritual that is both unique and steeped in tradition. When the clock ticks over to 10am, those moving into the new home should gather, bringing with them three objects; rice, water and a knife. These objects all have a symbolical meaning. Rice and water are said to bring a good and prosperous life, whilst the knife will protect the home from evil spirits.
This is an age-old moving in ritual that is followed all over the world. Feng Shui states that the day you choose to move into your new home can make all the difference, as choosing to move in on the wrong day will bring bad luck. Both the Chinese and Hindu calendars mark key dates that are denoted as lucky days to make the move happen. Take note of these particularly auspicious days if you’re a superstitious person.
Bread & salt
Jewish tradition states that by bringing bread and salt into the home, you will always be able to eat through your hard work. Bread is the most basic of foods and is symbolic of the most basic blessing that can be performed in the home.
Paint the door to your home blue
Over in the southern states of America, families have been painting the ceiling of their porch ‘haint blue’ for centuries. Evil spirits are said to be unable to swim and therefore cannot cross water. Painting your home this water-like shade of blue is said to be a symbolic ritual to ward off evil spirits. Some homes might be painted blue in their entirety- you can never be too sure!