Feeling lucky? You may be now that your home buying journey is at an end and you can finally move in. In fact, forgetting about solicitors, mortgage advisers, estate agents and removal men is enough to make anyone feel blessed.
But now’s the time when you need all the luck you can get to ensure your new home brings you happiness, health and prosperity in equal measures.
That’s because wherever you are in the world, it seems people try and make sure the good luck odds are weighed in their favour when they take up residence in a new home.
Whether it’s the day you choose to move or the colour of your porch, the following selection of superstitious house blessing rituals from the four corners of the globe could be just the thing you need to help ensure your new home is a charmed one.
UK: Hang a Horseshoe
It seems that people have been hanging horseshoes on the wall to ward off bad luck since horses first started wearing the things. They’ve been used as a household good luck sign for centuries in Europe and the UK, though no one can quite agree on the symbolism behind the curved metal ornaments seen on houses all over the country. Some say they frighten off goblins and elves as they are scared of the iron used in the weapons of their enemies. Others because they look like the crescent symbol of the Moon God venerated by the Celts and again, not a big hit with the little folk. We can’t even agree which way to hang them – to catch good luck or let the bad stuff drain away? But whichever you look at the humble horseshoe, it’s a cheap and easy way of house blessing and helps to bring a little luck to your new abode.
CHINA/FAR EAST: Choose the right date
Good fortune is often viewed as a numbers game in China and the Far East. Many are seen as having lucky/unlucky connotations and should be chosen/avoided accordingly. Two, for example is good news as doubles bring blessings. Four, however, is to be avoided as the number sounds similar to the word for ‘death’. And we all know 13 is considered to be an unlucky number pretty much universally.
Also, many Chinese home movers believe that more auspicious your moving date, the better. Consult a Chinese astrology calendar like the one at chineseastrology.com to discover which days could be better suited for your move. And don’t forget that practically speaking, Fridays can be a bad day to move in case anything goes wrong with mortgages or moving arrangements. So make sure you do your maths homework to be confident everything adds up in your favour luck-wise.
SERBIA: Spill water
Usually, water cascading on the floor of your new property would be seen as a cue to find a local plumber. Not so for the Serbians who apparently spill water behind people to bring good luck. It’s all about moving water helping good things flow, so if you are on the move in Serbia don’t be annoyed you have wet feet, be thankful.
EUROPE: Bread and salt anyone?
Bread and salt have long symbolised wealth and health in Europe, so it’s no surprise that these two common household items are still seen as a way to bring good luck to a new home. Back in the day, they could mean the difference between life and death in staving off hunger and preserving food supplies through winter. Today, arriving with a loaf and salt when you first step over the threshold will not only be a good luck gesture, but also ensure you can rustle up some toast if you’ve missed the local takeaway.
USA: Burn sage
The Native Americans believe in blessing their homes by burning or ‘smudging’ dried sage or other herbs. It’s become a very popular ritual across the States and is simple to carry out. Just gather some herbs like sage from the garden, dry them and tie tightly using cotton. Light your herb bundle and blow out to extinguish the flame, then perform a clockwise circuit of house using your smoky bundle to banish evil spirits and negative energy. Don’t forget to pay particular attention to corners, as these are where these unwelcome guests just love to hide!
Southern USA: Blue porch
If you’ve travelled to the Southern States of the USA, you may have noticed that the ceilings of many of the porches fronting the traditional white timber houses are painted a distinctive pale blue colour. This is known as ‘Haint Blue’ and has a spooky origin. The word ‘haint’ is a corruption of ‘haunt’ and the colour is traditionally used to keep out lost spirits. Local folklore says they mistake the blue for the colour of water which they are unable to cross so will stay out of the house. That’s why house blessing is the first action many superstitious Southerners make when they move in.
EVERYWHERE: Light a candle
Since humans first started moving from place to place, lighting a candle has been synonymous with house blessings and bringing light to a new home has been seen as a bright way to fill the space with positive energy. Light a candle on your first night and bring a blessing to your home that brightens every corner and banishes dark things like sadness. Or maybe just light one because the previous occupants took the light bulbs with them. Whatever the reason, bringing candle light to your new house is a powerful and ancient tradition that’s easy to uphold.
…And don’t forget to leave your old brush behind
Finally, to really make a fresh start and brush away the past, it’s believed to be very good luck indeed to ditch those brushes, mops and even Hoovers and replace them with brand new versions when you move. That is of course if you don’t hire a local cleaner, then this tip may not be the most helpful. However, if you do clean your home then leaving behind all your cleaning equipment will help you to make a clean start both physically and metaphorically as you leave all your unwanted old dust and cobwebs behind.