Tag Archives: house warming

Chinese Housewarming Tradition

Main Piece:

According to RE, there is a Chinese tradition for when you buy a home. “When you first buy a house, before you enter for the first time you have to throw new, shiny coins into the house then the first three items you bring in is oil, sugar, and rice. The meaning behind it is that the coins bring money into the house. Oil sugar and rice bring prosperity.”

Context:

RE, is a sophomore at USC and is familiar with Chinese traditions. She is very invested in this culture and knows a lot about it. This was taken from a conversion over text regarding these traditions.

Thoughts:

I think this traditions is interesting. One thing I know about eastern cultures is that they have values and traditions that have to go with omens. One trend I notice is that omens play a big part in their lives whether good or bad. Symbolize matters a lot and this piece speaks to that part of Chinese culture. Throwing new coins into the house as the first item is obviously a symbol of money, which is a goal for people in life. Another symbol is the oil, sugar, and rice. These being signs of prosperity make sense as they are basic ingredients in food. Prosperity is the idea of living a good life and the start to that is always having food on the table. This helps add to the idea that symbols play a huge role in Eastern Asian culture.

Folk Celebration – Los Angeles, California

Japanese Housewarming Celebration

When a couple gets married, and buys a new house, they have a big dinner for a housewarming celebration.  At this dinner, everyone is supposed to eat fish eggs, usually eaten with rice.

The informant claims that eating the fish eggs is supposed to bring good luck, especially in the realm of starting a family.  This practice is supposed to help them have a baby, hence the connection of eggs with fertility.

I agree with my informant.  Because the new couple has a new house, I suppose it would be expected to fill that house with a family, including children.  I’d also like to add that I think this celebration involves fish eggs rather than another kind of egg because fish are an important staple of a traditional Japanese diet, as Japan is an island surrounded by water.

Ritual – Japan

Wedding ritual

Japanese House-Warming ritual

To welcome people into their new homes, Dana said her Japanese family prepares and eats fish eggs with rice with the new house-owners. For new couples, the fish eggs symbolize good luck for a baby to come.

Dana doesn’t enjoy eating fish eggs but she has just grown up around this ritual, so she is used to it.

The American house-warming tradition is not so specific and ritualistic. Instead, people throw “house-warming” parties upon moving into a new residence. At these parties, guests sometimes bring a gift for the house or the host. There aren’t any traditions or planned events.

Personally, I would not like to be welcomed into my house with fish eggs. A simple wish for good luck is enough. I would rather acquaint my friends and family with a party.