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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 an auspicious date and time 吉日 良辰.
It is recorded in Chinese almanac (黄历) as 入伙 for brand new house and resale 移徙.
Procedure below is a common Chinese “tradition or custom” what to do on the day of move in. You can choose to follow all or part of.
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” 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 lighted up) cover your deity with a red cloth prior to day of move in. On the auspicious shift in day and time you can unveil and do your religious beliefs such as burning of joss stick, offerings, etc.
Third anytime prior to shift in day, consider 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.
Procedures on Shift in day 搬家
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 to carry items symbolic to good fortune when entering new house, examples:
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 or box 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 simple 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 feng shui master. The “boiling of water” is symbolic to “shift in” and cooking a meal technically making it 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. Chinese Custom believed that “fire” can dispel negative energies.
7. Before shift in day, likely your new bed/mattress would have been delivered to your home already. Leave the mattress in a vertical position (whether length or breadth lean against the floor doesn’t matter). Then on the auspicious day & hour you can put the mattress properly 安床. This is the simplest bed installation method.
*for resale house, one can consider burning incense at the center of your entire house.
**woman who are pregnant should not shift house