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  • Traditional House Warming Gifts

    by Anthony Parente

    One of the more popular requests that I have received via email has to do with traditional house warming gifts. The tradition of giving a new homeowner a gift goes back centuries. In today's standards many people might find these gifts a bit peculiar, but there is significance behind each item that will mean more to a new homeowner than any gift you could give them.

    This custom and tradition is not just something that Italians did. In fact there are various cultures that also give gifts to a person who purchased a new home. I can remember that when someone bought a new home you would give that person a broom, salt and bread as a gift, but as you can see below these are not the only items that one can give. I am sure this is not a complete list of items that one can give a new homeowner. If there is a traditional gift or custom that your family does for new homeowners please send me an email message listing the item and the significance of this gift so I can update this list for others to continue this tradition.

    Item/GiftSignificance
    BreadYou will never go hungry
    BroomSweep away the evil; Your house will always be clean
    CandleYou will always have light
    CoinBring good fortune for the year
    HoneyRepresents the sweetness of life
    KnifeProtect against intruders
    Olive OilHealth, Light and believe it or not, keep your husband faithful
    PennyKeep the friend from ever being at the end of the knife
    PlantYou will always have life
    RoosterTo keep trespassers and dangers away from the home (Not a live one, but you can find them imprinted on dish towels or a pitcher that is shaped like one)
    RiceSign of fertility
    SaltRepresents life's tears; You can also place a pinch of salt at the threshold of each door and window for good luck; Mend all wounds
    Toilet PaperThe reason is that the roll is easy to spool out and represents the hope that all problems with the new home will be as easily solved.
    WineNever go thirsty; Your home brings you happiness and joy
    WoodYour life/home will always have stability, harmony and peace

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