One of the best parts of real estate is watching people find their dream home. The joy and excitement of that moment is incredible to witness. And I want to help you celebrate. Unfortunately, right now, housewarming parties aren’t exactly advisable. Which is why I thought I would explore some interesting housewarming traditions from around the world to help you ring in your new life.

Clear out old energy

Many things can remain when a house changes owners – the neighbours, the charming creak on the bottom step, and even some old memories. Clearing out the old energy, so that a house truly becomes yours, can be an important custom when you move into a new place. Even if it has no effect, the ritual itself can be extremely meaningful. Whether its clearing the “qi” (a Chinese character/word for life force or energy) by propping open windows and doors, ringing a bell in each room like is done in Tibet, or burning sweetgrass or sage to purify the energy like some traditional indigenous cultures. Doing something to clear out the house can help it feel like yours.

Break bread (and sip wine!)

Several cultures, including many European countries (especially Russia), have welcoming ceremonies for new homes. Some include eating bread, which symbolizes prosperity. Salt signifies longevity and friendship. Some cultures even insist that bread and salt be the first items brought into the home. This way, the inhabitants never know hunger (bread) and have a life full of flavour (salt). You might also want to bring wine! This is tradition in many Scandinavian countries, to bring joy (so much joy!), and honey to bring sweetness. You may also want to throw in a pomegranate if, like the Greeks, you want to bring abundance and fertility into the home.

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Add some fire

Fire is symbolic of purity and can help cast out both the literal and metaphorical darkness. It’s still too warm to really want to sit around a fireplace. However, lighting a candle on your first night in your new home is a great way to bless the space and add light and warmth to your new home. Plus, it’s pretty and a great way to chase away any lingering odours.

Paint the porch blue

In an adaptation of some African traditions, the Gullah of South Carolina (and sometimes Florida and Georgia) have a custom of painting the roof of the porch of a new home what is called “haint blue.” This isn’t a particular shade of blue – haint simply means haunt or ghost. The idea is that bad spirits cannot cross water, so painting the entrance blue keeps them at bay. You can pick whatever shade of blue you’d like and use this ritual to keep out the bad (including, according to some, mosquitoes!). Bonus – you have a fun ceiling!

Whatever you do for your housewarming, creating a ritual to welcome your family into your new home can be very meaningful. And can help make it feel like yours before you move a single box into the space.

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