13 Lipat Bahay Superstitions You Must Know
Generally, superstition is defined as an unfounded, supernatural belief where an event can result to another event without any natural process that took place in between.
Though superstitions are deemed to be irrational, it’s undeniable that such beliefs are still prevalent even in these modern days, and they vary across the globe.
Superstitious beliefs have always been a part of Filipino culture. Some of our decisions, whether small or big, are sometimes greatly influenced by superstitions. During special occasions like New Year, one can expect most Filipino households to do bizarre practices such as throwing coins in all corners of the room as a way of inviting prosperity.
When it comes to lipat bahay, Filipinos put special attention to bringing good luck to their new home. Since there’s no serious risk in obeying such beliefs, it’s completely up to you if you’d like to place credence in these superstitions.
Hypotheses on Why Filipinos are Superstitious
Formal and thorough studies about the Filipinos being superstitious are very limited. One can only draw hypotheses by observing the Filipinos’ attitudes towards superstitions. Along with some proposed explanations by a Filipino journalist named Wilson Lee Flores in his 2006 article, here are suppositions on why Filipinos are superstitious.
Believing So Easily
A research study conducted in Harvard Institute of Socio-Political Progression (HIS-PP) showed that Filipinos are first among “the world’s most gullible races.” The said study also concluded that “The causes of this gullibility include the inability to question information and an over-reliance on interpersonal sources,”. While it’s too complex to consider the results as accurate, there’s no denying that many–not all–Filipinos (especially on social media) fall for groundless reports without trying to question them.
From Pre-Spanish Period
Some Filipino superstitions rooted from pagan beliefs half a millennium ago. Before Christianity was introduced to Filipinos, ancestors had their own set of beliefs. It is believed that through the creation of superstitions, ancient people attempted to give an explanation of natural phenomena and human behavior that they could not understand.
Immigrants from Other Superstitious Countries
Truly, Filipino culture is a melting pot of diverse beliefs. Aside from the original settlers in the Philippines, immigrants from other countries such as Chinese, Arabs, and Malays have made its impact on the beliefs that Filipinos hold until today. The combination of these various beliefs has led to numerous superstitious notions that are inspired by foreign cultures.
13 Lipat Bahay Superstitions You Need to Know
When moving to a new home, most Filipinos tend to be over-critical when it comes to superstitions–it would be quite unusual for a Filipino family doing a lipat bahay to disregard these beliefs! Here are most common lipat bahay superstitions they practice:
Coins on New Home
Filipinos scatter plenty of coins around the living room of their new house upon arriving. They believe that doing so will attract wealth and prosperity, and they make it a point to throw the coins going inwards to every corner of the room as a symbol of money entering the home. Some may pick up all the coins after the ritual, but others leave it the way it is for the following days.
Date of Property Ownership
Even the date ownership of a new property counts as something that brings influence on the transition of growth in the household. Filipinos think that the date must contain a number which, when written, ends with the movement of the pen stroking upwards. Such direction means your development while living in that house would go up instead of downhill. Numbers like 8, 0 and 5 are usually preferred.
Sprinkling of Salt
For Filipinos, sprinkling salt on every room of the new house helps to shun away the bad spirits residing the place. Some believe that it’s also a good way of preventing unwanted guests from visiting the home again.
The Number of Stairs Matters
When deciding how many stairsteps to be erected in the new house, Filipinos rely on the alternate counting of steps using the chant “Oro, plata, mata” (Gold, silver, death). The rule in this superstition is that the topmost stair step should not end with ‘mata’, as it can mean a bad luck to people who will use the stairs. However, “oro” and “plata” are considered as a good luck.
Loaf and Broom
The people who will enter the new house for the very first time should have a loaf of bread and a new broom with them as a symbol of prosperity greeting the house. It’s also highly discouraged to bring the old broom from the former home into the house to let go of the bad energy from the previous home.
Black Ants Are Welcome
While most people in the world will cringe at the sight of black ants lining up on their walls, Filipinos would be actually delighted when they see black ants lurking around on their new homes. They believe that numerous black ants symbolize fortune and success coming to their household in the near future.
Exit through the Entrance
This superstition is inspired by the Irish tradition. It says that when it’s the very first time of people entering the new house, they should exit through the same entrance door. Failing to practice this is believed to promote bad luck in the household.
Bees in The House
Bees entering the new house is regarded as an omen that good luck and success will come to the home’s occupants. Such belief may be accredited to the industrious nature of the bees.
The Lipat Bahay Date
Even the date when lipat bahay is done should be well-thought of according to this Filipino superstition. When deciding when to do the actual move, people should steer clear of Fridays, Saturdays, and rainy days. It is believed that the best time to move is when the moon is waxing. Just like many other superstitions, the basis behind this remains unknown.
No to Knives
Filipinos believe that if someone wants to stay good friends with their first guests on their new home, he or she must not let them give him or her knives or any sharp ended objects as a housewarming gift. They think that those who present the homeowner such items will eventually turn to enemies.
Old Coins on Doorstep
This perfectly explains why some houses we visit had lines of coins buried in their doorsteps. Before the cement in the doorstep dries out to be concrete, many Filipinos would imprint or even bury old coins on it. This practice is observed because they say it will attract wealth and prosperity for the family living in the house.
This superstitious belief may sound like a creepy ritual done by some gang of supernatural creatures, but don’t fret! For Filipinos, bathing the foundation of their new home with chicken or pig blood is an effective way to shoo away the evil spirits lurking in the house, as well as to protect it from the same spirits. Such belief is also applied when building a bridge and other establishments.
Full with Rice
Like the bread-and-loaf superstition, Filipinos take a container full of rice with them as they first enter the new home. With rice being the staple food of Filipinos, the activity represents that the occupants will never run out of food throughout their stay in the house. It also symbolizes of bringing home fortune and wealth for everyone living in the home.
As long as no person is harmed, there should be no problem in following these superstitious beliefs. In some way it can also be a fun activity for the movers. However, they should keep in mind that what the future holds in their new home still lies in their hands.
Got more superstitions about moving into a new house to share? Leave them in the comments below.
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