How to have a simple housewarming party
So often the origin is in the name. If you were wondering where and why this familiar phrase came about, dial back to medieval times and imagine guests arriving at your new home with firewood to get all the hearths in the house a-blaze. Nowadays, a housewarming party is a chance to invite friends to your new location and to fill the house with positive energy at the start of a new phase in life. By inviting friends and new neighbours into your home you can establish new connections in the area swiftly and encourage your existing friends to participate in your life going ahead. So, while you may not be relying on them to bring firewood, the sense of warmth of friendship and community is still present in the name.
Traditions for housewarming
In England, traditionally, guests brought firewood to light all the fires in the house. While this got the house warm and toasty, it also served the purpose of driving out any evil spirits. Empty, uninhabited houses tended to be places where ghosts and strange entities could set up in, so the housewarming ritual was also one of purification for the new dwellers. In France, the housewarming party is called the hanging of the chimney hook, pendaison de crémaillère. This is because the party was focused on sharing food with all that had helped to construct the house. The food was cooked in a large pot which was hung from a hook by the chimney. Once the house was constructed and ready, the hook for the chimney was hung, signifying the beginning of the festivities.
Gifts for housewarming parties
Bread and salt were traditionally housewarming gifts in Russia, Germany and in Jewish traditions. These staples were considered to signify that with the bread, you would never go hungry and with the salt, life would be continually flavoursome. In Greece, pomegranates were gifted and kept close to the hearth. Important in the myth of Persephone, pomegranates symbolize renewal, rebirth, fertility, and abundance. Colonial links brought pineapples into the housewarming scene, as they were associated with indigenous Caribbean people demonstrating hospitality and welcome to Imperial Colonialists. Pineapples became symbols of opulence and abundance in this era. Chinese traditions also involve rolling pineapples around the home upon entry to secure prosperity. For traditional Italians, a broom, a candle, rice, and olive oil would suffice for a good beginning. Southerners in the United States may be familiar with the Food Pounder party, where guests bring a pound of foodstuffs to get the resident’s pantry overflowing.
Animals and housewarming traditions
In India, the ceremony of preparing a new house for living in can involve letting a sacred cow enter the house first. While in Russia, it is believed that a cat should enter the house first to bring good luck. While these rituals seem remote and archaic, it is interesting that many housewarming gifts for homes depict animals and give the suggestion of domesticity and completeness. Chinese housewarming traditions involve sharing a home-cooked meal in the house together on the first night. Plus, it is very important to get the stove working soon after you enter the house to activate the hearth. Other traditions involve running all the taps and appliances and keeping the electricity on prior to moving so the house is full of yang energy upon arrival.
How to have a relaxed and casual housewarming party
At Camp Hopson, we help people get through the door of their new homes daily. As a traditional family business in Newbury, we have a history of helping people get off to a positive start in their new homes. So, here are a few ideas to get a simple housewarming part off the ground in your new home.
- Keep it simple and have an Open House gathering. By inviting your guests to drop by between the hours of 2- 5 at the weekend you can allow for quality one-to-one time with your guests which can be helpful when meeting new people. This is a great time window as you will not be catering for a main meal, just providing drinks and snacks and relaxed hospitality.
- Appetizers and drinks will be the main features, so make sure you have some alcohol and alcohol-free options for your guests. Similarly, while cheese is a winner for these occasions, also provide olives and dairy-free nibbles for those that are vegan or may be lactose intolerant. Choose food you are passionate about that you know other people may be happy to discover or try for the first time.
- Scatter the nibbles, food and snacks about your space, encouraging guests to use up different areas of your new home. While you may be still in the throes of unpacking and organising, a few vases of flowers strategically placed will signify both festivity and domesticity in one. Don’t worry about being in transition, everyone will understand you are just moving into a new place and will be keen to celebrate that with you.
- Invitations. Nowadays invites tend to be digital and online, but for neighbours you don’t yet know, you may want to knock on their door to invite them personally. You may also want to leave a card or invitation with them in case they are not available, as this is also a great way of introducing yourself to your neighbourhood. It is a good way to let them know where you are and what your name is, and to demonstrate your willingness to join their neighbourhood with an open attitude.
- Play music you like and feel at home in your new place. It is important in a housewarming to feel good in your new place and to share with others that sense of happiness. So, turn up your favourite music and enjoy the opportunity to relax and breathe in all your hard work which it took to get you to this point. Sometimes it is hard to stop and take stock when you are in a process of transition, and there seems like there is a never-ending list of things to do. Here is your moment, and enjoy it with friends, family, and your future neighbours.
Camp Hopson- Master Removers of Newbury
As Master Removers of Newbury, we provide excellent service for removals and storage. While you may be ready to roll a pineapple around your home on arrival, or have a lucky cat poised for auspicious entry, make sure you hire a trusted removals and storage team to get you skillfully to that point. We have a range of vehicles to adapt to your needs; if you need a Man and Van team plus any storage requirement, we can organize that for you. However, if you need the full monty removals service we are happy to oblige. Plus, if you need to move an office or relocate overseas, our team is ready and willing to make that transition a smooth, professional, and positive one. Covering Newbury, Oxford, and Berkshire, our team is ready to discuss your removal requirements and provide you with a quote. Get in touch today to ensure a warm and thriving beginning in your new home.