8 Housewarming Traditions from Around the World
Housewarming Traditions: Would you invite a cow to welcome you to your new home?
Different cultures have unique housewarming traditions. In fact, housewarming traditions are found in nearly every culture. Whether you call them traditions, rituals, or superstitions, here are many common, and some not-so-common, ways people celebrate their new home:
1) Boil Milk & Rice
In the Vasthu Sastra Indian tradition, many acts are performed to bless the home and ward off evil spirits. Boiling milk and rice until it overflows is one house warming tradition that symbolizes purity and long life. Other Indian housewarming traditions include placing a garland around the neck of a cow and bringing the animal inside the home. I don’t think that’ll work here in Santa Barbara, but you never know!
2) Paint Your Porch “Haint” Blue
If you’re from the American south, you know what I’m talking about. “Haint” isn’t a new Pantone color. It’s a range of blue tones from indigo to sea glass green. According to tradition “haint” spirits can’t cross water, so painting a home blue is a symbolic way to keep away bad spirits. It’s not uncommon to see homes in the South using blue not only on the porch, but around the doors, windows, and shutters. Some believe blue also tricks mosquitos into leaving because it looks like the sky.
3) Light A Candle on Your First Night
In many religions, lighting a candle and saying a prayer on your first night in your new home will help ward off evil spirits. Lighting a candle is a way to bless your new home too by bringing light into the dark. In medieval times, housewarming traditions included lighting a fire in the fireplace to symbolize strength, and purity.
4) Bread & Salt
This tradition is believed to have Russian Jewish origins. A gift of bread will ensure the new residents of the home won’t go hungry. Bringing salt symbolizes a life full of flavor. Both represent very important symbols of hospitality not just in Jewish households, but European ones as well. Salt was once so valuable it was used as currency. Giving salt to a new homeowner is an important sign of hospitality and wealth.
5) Ring A Bell
If you practice feng shui, then you’ll want to ring a Tibetan space clearing bell the night you move into your new home. This simple practice is believed to clear each room of stagnant or dying chi. Feng shui also suggests homeowners open windows, turn on fans, and let in the sunlight in to welcome auspicious good feng shui chi.
6) Tie A Holy Thread
Buddhists have many housewarming rituals believed to bring good luck and blessings. In Thai culture, one ritual includes tying “Sai Seen,” holy thread or string, around the wrists of family members as well as the home’s statue of Buddha.
7) Burn Sage
This practice is thought to be derived from Native American traditions. Burning dried sage, called sage smudging, is a traditional method of clearing out negative energy. Clean the energy of the entire house by directing sage smoke into the corners of every room. Burning sage will add protection from negativity. Aboriginals also encourage homeowners to cover up mirrors, and windows on their first night, and turn off electronics when performing a sage smudging ceremony.
8) Prepare A Housewarming Meal
If you hail from a French speaking country, your ancestors knew that changing the chimney hook (pendaison de crémaillère) signified the start of the housewarming thank-you meal. Everyone who helped build the house would enjoy the first meal prepared in a cooking pot that hung over the fire from a hook inside the chimney.
No matter what your heritage is, if you’re looking to move in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, please call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. I’ll happily add your listing to my portfolio of fine homes in the area and find a new dream home for your family where you can celebrate with one of the above housewarming traditions. Or, create your own special ritual!