Getting a new place comes with a seemingly endless list of tasks, ranging from trying to stay organized while packing and storing your belongings somewhere safe during your move, to becoming familiar with the new neighborhood. Aside from that, moving into a new home can be much more than a source of stress and confusion, perhaps a social occasion which involves rituals and habits that bring you closer with friends and family.

If you ever wondered why a new-home party is called a ‘housewarming’ it’s mainly because the fire is a classic symbol of strength and purity. Hence, by casting away darkness, one brings light and prosperity into the household.

It turns out that people from all corners the world love to celebrate this event in various and unique ways to ease their journeys into their new lives. Therefore, even though your mind is racing with to-dos, check out these interesting housewarming traditions from around the world, find out how diverse cultures celebrate moving into a new home and maybe use the tips as an inspiration to create your very own customs

Cleanse the Air the Asian Way

Many asian people are fond of their traditions and superstitions, and they have kept them alive throughout the centuries.

The most well-known housewarming habit in the Chinese culture requires preparations long before the relocation itself. The move must be scheduled on a lucky date, according to the Chinese almanac, and should certainly start before noon. Before the new owners bring their belongings inside, the air must be cleaned throughout the whole house by opening all the windows and doors to refresh the qi (the energy) of the home.

Another widely-practiced tradition in Asia is the Thai ‘Khuan Ban Mai’ blessing ritual, which seeks to ward off any evil spirits that may be in the house by bringing nine monks to sing purifying prayers and mark the doors with white paste.

Last but not least, if you want to get rid of the bad energy, or ‘dying qi’, as they say, ring a bell! According to feng shui, the popular Chinese philosophy of peace and harmony, ringing a bell and turning on fans will cleanse a room of negative vibes.

Focus on Food like Europeans

Europe’s gastronomical scene is arguably the most diverse and distinctive in the world, which is why most of their housewarming traditions center around food.

One of the traditions that have been spreading in all corners of the world, but which has its origins in Russia, is bringing bread and salt as a gift to people who move into a new home. Because both bread and salt represent two cherished symbols of hospitality, being staples at nearly every meal, they are believed to ensure that the homeowner will never go hungry and their life will always have flavor. It is such a popular housewarming ritual that even cosmonauts sometimes bring bread and salt into space stations to feel more at home up in space.

One other food-related tradition that originates in France is to offer a thank-you meal to everyone who contributed to the building/preparing of the new house. In French speaking countries, the housewarming party is called ‘pendaison de crémaillère’, which translates as ‘hanging of the chimney hook’. Even though it is a medieval expression, dating back to the 1600s, when the meal used to be prepared in a large pot hung on a hook in the chimney, the tradition survives to this day. However, instead of the pot over the chimney we now have ovens – but it’s essentially the same thing, isn’t it?

Keep it Simple like Modern Americans

In the United States, just as there is a diversity of cultures, you can find a diversity of traditions. The difference however is that, unlike the rest of the world where traditions are deeply rooted in the supernatural, we like to keep housewarming habits simple and useful. The most typical gifts that are brought to a new homeowner include flowers, baked goods and maybe a homemade casserole. Moreover, neighbors are used to providing handy tips and useful information to make the newcomers feel at home.

On the other hand, there are practices derived from Native American traditions that are far from ordinary. Similar to the ways of cleansing the air practiced in some Asian countries, some Native American cultures claim that it’s important to burn sage – light it up, gently blow out the flame and let it smoke on its own – in order to purify the air of a new home. In order to stick strictly to the rituals, one is also encouraged to cover up mirrors and windows and turn off all electronic devices during the sage burning ceremony, to fully capture the cleansing spirit and get rid of any negative vibes.

After going through dozens of gift ideas from every nation, we picked the most interesting and useful ones to ease your choice.

From practicing feng-shui to prepping meals or burning sage, there are plenty of special ways to celebrate moving into a new home. Even if you prefer a simple and cozy get-together with your closest friends, it can be charming to recall the original spirit of housewarming with traditional rituals and gifts.


Diandra is a creative writer for RENTCafé.com. With an academic background in English literature and linguistics, Diandra has a strong passion for real estate. She covers a variety of topics, from marketing trends to entertaining articles about urban development. When she’s not catching up on the latest real estate deals, she’s usually busy traveling, reading, or learning new languages. You can get in touch with Diandra via email.

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