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Shift in day is a traditional chinese custom practice, technically nothing to do with feng shui. However it is imperative to choose a lucky date and time for such an occassion. Feng shui believed in doing the right thing at the right time.
1st rule of thumb, family member must stay overnight for the first time. It does not matter if some of your family members are overseas or schooling and can’t make it for the day.
2nd, the significance to use an “auspicious starting date & time”. The practice is “symbolic” to good fortune 好意头,兆头, 彩头.
In the past, fire crackers and charcoal stove were used to commemorate the shift in day. Here is the simplified version to give you peace of mind.
*Please note that all the “heavy lifting” such as bed, furniture, refrigerator, sofa set, TV console can be install or transported prior to shift in.
*For those with religion, you can set up the altar stand (but not light up) cover your deity with a red cloth prior to day of move in. On the auspicious shift in day and time chosen by your feng shui master you can unveil and do the necessaries like burn joss stick, offerings, lighting it up and others.
Third anytime prior to shift in day, sprinkle $168 consisting of $1 coin all over the entire house. The amount is up to you, you can use $1688 if that is not too heavy to carry OR your own perceived lucky number quantity.
Procedures on the shift in day
1. Wear something new as if it is the 1st lunar day of Chinese New Year.
2. Paste one pair of red 对联 (dui lian) Chinese scrolls on each side of the door. You can remove this after staying in your new house for 7 days. This is believed to ward off evil spirits 僻邪驱鬼.
3. The most senior member of house should lead and enter the house first, this is a form of respect.
4. Family members should carry items symbolic to good luck when entering new house, example:
5. After you entered, pick up the 168 pieces of 1 dollar coin (that you sprinkle prior to shift in) put inside a red packet and place it under your mattress. This signifies “财源广进” ushering wealth into your house.
“boiling of water to cook a meal with rice” is symbolic to shift in 入伙
6. Activate all electricity, lighting and appliances. It is important to turn on your gas stove 开炉 (kai lu) to boil water and cook a meal. You and your family members have to consume the water and food for the 1st time in your new home. This must fall within auspicious timing given by your master. The “boiling of water” is symbolic to “shift in” and cooking a meal is technically more complete. It signifies your home is flourishing 风生水起.
Switching on all home lightings is symbolic to bringing the “charcoal stove” into the house because light is “fire” element. Custom believed that “fire” can dispel negative energies.
7. Before your shift in day, the new bed/mattress would have been delivered to your home already. DO NOT place it properly on the day of delivery. For example you can slant or leave a gap with the wall. Then on this auspicous moment, align your bed and place it as per advise by your feng shui master. This is the simplest bed installation “安床” method.
*for resale house, one can consider burning incense at the center of your entire house.
**woman who are pregnant should not shift house