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4 Housewarming Traditions from Around the World

4 Housewarming Traditions from Around the World

December 15, 2017 By King Relocation

4 Housewarming Traditions from Around the World

Most of us dread the process of relocating – for good reason.

First of all, there are many decisions to be made – from choosing when you want to move to deciding what to take with you – the list goes on. Next, there are tasks such as notifying the utility companies and post office of your upcoming move and arranging care for children and pets during this busy time. Finally, settling into a new community – from selecting schools and extracurricular activities for your children, to finding new doctors, dentists and other care providers – can be challenging.

We often forget, though, that relocation is also a cause for tremendous celebration. For hundreds of years now, in fact, people around the globe have been welcoming new friends and neighbors into their communities through “housewarming.”

To learn more about some of the traditional housewarming rituals and customs, including those that are still used today to welcome new people into our communities, we turned to Updater, which recently published a list of four of their favorite housewarming traditions from around the world, as summarized here:

  • 1) Clear the air & entryways in your new home first. Before bringing any belongings into the home, prop open all windows and doors to clean the qi (“energy”) in the house. You may or may not be superstitious, but it’s a good idea to check for drafty areas and clear entryways before moving and arranging your furniture.
  • 2) Decorate your home with positive words & imagery. In many cultures, a home isn’t suitable for move-in until it’s been properly blessed. Some Irish households hang plaques and poems on the walls, for example. The Thai keun ban mai ritual requires nine monks to chant prayers and mark all doors with white paste to ward off evil spirits. 
  • 3) Invite the people who helped you move in. In France, expect to be invited to your new neighbors’ pendaison de crémaillère, literally “hanging of the chimney hook.” The term crémaillère refers to an iron rack that was used to hang kettles and cooking pots over the chimney fire. When this term was coined in the Middle Ages, the chimney hook was typically the finishing touch on a newly fixed home. Once installed, the host would have a thank-you party and invite everyone who helped with the house. 
  • 4) Break bread (with salt)! Offering bread and salt as part of a welcoming ceremony is quite common across Europe. This is especially true for Slavic countries, where the food pairing is synonymous with hospitality. An important staple food, bread symbolizes prosperity, while salt is often associated with longevity and friendship. 

For more, check out Updater’s full post HERE.

And, if you’ve been invited to a housewarming party and are looking for the perfect gift to give to someone in your life who has recently moved, here are a few more links we uncovered that might provide some good inspiration:

10 Gift Ideas for the Recently Relocated

Martha Stewart
Housewarming Gifts

Huffington Post
How to Welcome Your Neighbors, According to the World

Traditional Housewarming Gifts (And What They Symbolize)

About King Companies
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