Housewarming Symbols

Housewarming > Symbols

Periwinkle plant

Planting periwinkle in the garden of a couple's first home will ensure a long and happy life together.


Gargoyles were used in architectural design to protect buildings, esp. places of worship and other important centers.


Germanic legend tells that Thor, the god of thunder, created thunder by flinging his hammer throughout the heavens whenever he was angry. The Norsemen believed that the oak tree which grows from a tiny acorn is the tree of heaven and could protect them from Thor's rage, so they placed acorns on their windowsills, thereby warding off all the dangers associated with thunder and lightning.


The bluebird is the most universally accepted of cheerfulness, happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health, new births and the renewal of springtime. Virtually any positive sentiments may be attached to the bluebird.

Peach blossom

In China, peach blossoms are believed to ward off illness and danger. Branches of the blossoms are hung on the outside of their homes, thereby preventing guests from bringing in any unwanted influences.

Holly & Ivy

Early Christians used to display evergreen plants in their homes to symbolise everlasting life. Holly (representing the masculine) and Ivy (the feminine) were the most popular combination.

According to English legend, both plants together protect a house against evil spirits.


In the old times of chivalry, a challenge would be given by throwing the glove or accept a challenge by picking up the gauntlet.


  • The ringing of bells symbolises the universal power of purification.

  • According to Irish tradition, a bell is used to maintain harmonious relationships by protecting against lover's quarrels: whenever a disagreement begins, one of the lovers immediately rings the bell, thus breaking the spirit of discord and renewing the spirit of love.


  • Native Americans place a "burden basket" next to the front entrance of their home so guests can check their burdens at the door.

  • A basket full of fruit or wool symbolises fertility.

  • In Egyptian culture, as basket suggests wholeness and togetherness under one heavenly rule.

Candles, Bread & Salt

According to a Jewish tradition, a gift of candles, bread and salt blesses the home of a loved one. It symbolises the giver's prayer that the house will always be filled with light, bountiful food and spiced with joy.

Candles, Cake & Wine

In Portugal, it used to be customary to have an "open house" from Christmas until New Year's Day. During this period, every window in the house flickered with candlelight as a sign of welcome to all passers-by. Each visitor was treated to a small cake and some wine.


A metal so strong that it can only be shaped by fire, iron is known as the universal weapon against evil spirits.

Folklore claims that placing a piece of iron at the threshold or under the bed will safeguard the home.


Symbol of time passing and the transitory nature of life.


During Colonial times when seafaring was a way of life for many settlers, the pineapple became a symbol of hospitality. A pineapple was brought back from each voyage and put on the gate outside the home to announce the safe return and welcoming friends to visit.


Also known as the "horn of plenty", spilling over with grains, vegetables and fruits, symbolizes a bountiful harvest. Ancient Romans used a large sea shell filled with fruit to symbolize the abundance of life's material goods.


In Italy, the tomato is a symbol of good fortune and is thought to bring health and wealth into the home. Some Italians place a large red tomato on the mantle to further ensure prosperity.


  • White castles symbolise achievement, destiny fulfilled and spiritual perfection.

  • Castles also represent humanity's inner refuge, a place of privilege between soul and God and a safeguard of inner spiritual concentration.

  • Also a symbol of strength and security.


Legend tells of a Roman king who asked his three daughters to describe their love for him. The oldest said she loved her father as much as bread, the middle one said as much as wine, but the youngest said she loved him as much as salt. Offended at being compared to such a common substance, the king banished his youngest daughter from his presence. To show him how precious her comparison had been, she had her father served a completely saltless meal. At the blandness of the food, her father recognised the depth of her love and welcomed her back into his life.

  • Gypsies use bread and salt to confirm an oath.

  • In the early European days, salt was used to ward of evil and to protect against the witches. Superstitious people still follow this tradition by sprinkling salt over the threshold of a new house to prevent the entry of evil spirits.


Native Americans used feathers to assist in healing. It was also custom to hang feathers for protection and good health.