Monday, September 3, 2012

Moving Into A New House (喬遷)

Hmm... the above picture is moving house to a new location, not exactly what I meant by "moving into a new house".
I guess one point in time, we would move into a new house. Some people will move more times than others. Moving house is a big event for the old Chinese as in old society; a house may be dwelled for one generation or so, or at least for 10 or 20 years’ period. At present days however, as the price of property keep rising; I think we are no better off than our forefathers. Once stay put, unless our house loan is paid in full; we would not be able to move anywhere.


So let us look into the proper rituals to ensure that we are attuned to our new dwelling. There are a few steps as with any other Taoist rituals, assuming that your dream house is already selected:


1.      Date Selection(擇日)

a.       This is the next important thing only next to obtaining a house of good Feng Shui. There is a saying: “If you cannot get a house of good Feng Shui, at least a good date for the sake of your well being.”

2.      Sha neutralization(化煞)

a.       By definition “Sha” is harmful energy. So this energy must be neutralized before move in otherwise the new tenants will find no peace. This is normally done by throwing a mixture of tea leaves, raw rice and salt all over the house. Now the house is sealed until the move in of the deities and ancestors.

3.      Door opening(開門)

a.       This symbolizes that the house is ready to be dwelled.

4.      Transfer of deities and ancestor tablets (入神)

a.       As a general rule, before the actual moving of the human; the household deities and ancestor tablets must go in first. This move must as usual, in accordance with an auspicious date.

5.      Move-in (入宅)

a.       Now the furniture and the rest of the household items are moved in.

6.      Praying to four corners (拜四角)

a.       Once you are in your new house, you must perform a ritual to thank the spirits of the four corners for their acceptance of you and your family as the master of the house.

b.      This is a simple ritual that when you have settled everything, put some food offering at all four corners, including the center of your house.

c.       Now, bring a kettle to the center of your house and boil some water. Once the water is boiled, add some tea leaves into the boiling water.

d.      At the end of the praying session, let each of the house members drink some tea. By doing so will make sure that everyone is blessed and fit to stay in the new environment.

7.      Thanking the earth(謝土)

a.       Perform a short offering and prayer in front of your house to thank the local spirits for their services.


Well, I admit the above steps are a little lengthy and troublesome in this modern fast path society. But if you think of the hardship of owning a new house and you would be able to live a more comfortable life for the next twenty years or so, then it may be worthwhile to give the rituals a try. 

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