Pakistanis often have an opinion about anything and everything. But the importance of stability and maturity is the point of view that unites all of them. And in Pakistan, buying a new house is the only way to be considered “financially stable.”
So you look around for a home, save up all of your money, and at last buy a decent place to call home. Yay! But hold on. To ensure a continuously prosperous existence, some practices must be followed before you move in.
We have many different “moving in” rituals that friends and family suggest the homeowner perform. Now, while some of these rituals are similar to other cultures, others are completely different.
Let’s explore some of the various rituals practiced by Pakistanis when moving into a new home.
Dawat (A gathering with food):
The Urdu word Dawat, which literally translates to “invitation,” is frequently used to refer to a feast invitation on a happy occasion. Since moving into a new home that you bought or built by yourself is a grand event in your life, It is customary in Pakistan to choose a date and invite all your friends and family to your new home and offer them a feast. The guests also bring gifts for the new homeowner and congratulate him/her on their success and prosperity.
A walk through Pakistani traditional housewarming ceremony:
The traditional ways of celebrating a housewarming party may vary in some parts of Pakistan, but the standard rituals and practices that are followed are mentioned as follows:
1. Buying land and completing the construction
When a person buys land and begins the construction of a house, it is customary to congratulate them on this milestone. In some religious families, it’s a custom to ask a religious person to lay the foundation of the house by placing the first brick. While in some families, the eldest of the house, grandparents or parents, are requested to place the first brick. It is a show of gratitude towards their elders.
Then in order to have a housewarming party, the owner must complete all the necessary portions of the house, such as the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, and also decorate them with furniture so that he can call all his friends and relatives on “dawat” and show them around.
2. Picking a good date:
Picking the right date for house warming party is a very important task in Pakistan. Usually, the day Friday is preferred because it is a holiday of the week in Islam, and it has great significance. Inviting everyone on the day of “jummah” (Friday) can be considered a memorable day to mark the ownership of the house. Friday is also a local holiday in Pakistani culture, while Sunday is a holiday for offices and businesses.
But in other cases, any day can be picked to invite friends and family over and have a feast.
3. Making a dawat menu and guest list
Making a guest list helps the host avoid losing out on important guests who are close to you. Choosing a dawat menu for all the guests invited is also important. Pakistani people like to go big with the dawat menu. Biryani, pulao, kabab, and karahi are served with drinks, and sweet dishes like Ras Malai, kheer, and ice cream are very common.
4. Quran Khawani – Homeowner organizes a recitation of the Quran
Once the food is ready, it is kept on the table or mat in the living room, and everyone gathers around the table or mat. The house owner invites a religious person to recite Quranic ayaats in an attempt to thank Allah for this occasion.
Following this, the guests congratulate the house owner and join him for the meal.
5. Housewarming gifts:
As a token of appreciation, guests of housewarming celebrations often bring gifts. A meaningful gift from the guest is always appreciated, even if there are no particular guidelines to follow.
The ideal gift is something that the recipient will like, and that is also useful for the home. People often gift new mugs, plates, or decoration pieces that can go well with the house. The house owner must accept the gifts brought by the guests and thank them for being part of his happiness.
Pakistani people are very welcoming people and their reason for happiness is their family. They love to celebrate every little and big occasion with food and a gathering of people they love and respect. They laugh, eat and catch up with one another’s life on such occasions.