The auspicious event of entering a new house is called Griha Pravesh in Hindu Tradition. Sacred Vedic texts lay great importance on conducting a ceremony before starting to live a life in the house that is newly built.
Vaastu Shastra mentions that the house remains fit to reside and conduct ceremony only when the doors are fitted well, the roof is covered and the house is protected with walls and the vaastu deities are propitiated in a due manner.
Fixing of Muhurtam or auspicious time
After the house is complete, muhurtam or an auspicious time is fixed to enter into the house based on astrological calculations. Highly favorable months to move into a new house are: Magha month (January-February) for wealth gain, Phalguna month (February-March) for good children and accumulation of wealth, Baisakh month (April-May) for growth of wealth and prosperity, Jyeshta month (May-June) for birth of son and owning cattle or luxuries.
Decorating the house
The doors are decorated with mango leaves and fresh flowers. Banana stems are also tied to the poles for ushering in prosperity. Rangolis of rice flour are drawn at the entrance and at the doorway for decorative purposes.
Performing Vaastu Pooja
- This pooja is done before entering a new house. It is done to please the Vaastu deity with the help of a Brahmin priest. Chants are recited to invoke Vaastu Devata`s blessings for peace and negation of all evil energies like jealousy and ill will of others.
- Vaastu Deity is appeased outside the house with a breaking of ash gourd by the man of the house and this is left at the entrance at the two sides of the threshold of the house. The lady breaks a coconut and this is also placed on the threshold.
- Then kalash pooja is done to a copper pot or kalash. The pot is filled with water, nine types of grains or navadhanya, and a coin. A coconut is tied around with a red cloth and placed on the kalash with mango leaves placed at the sides of the kalash. The priest does pooja to this pot with recitation of sacred mantras.
- Both the husband and wife carry this pot inside the house and place it near the ceremonial fire place or havan.
- At the time of traditional entry, a cow and a calf are let in first before the family members enter for auspicious energies and to welcome prosperity into their households.
Homas are performed during house warming ceremonies to remove the three sins incurred while building a new house. Digging of earth, cutting of trees and breaking of stones – three doshas incur when this happens. To nullify the bad effects, homas are done to deities for their blessings of protection and purification.
A homa is performed to invoke Lord Ganesha and to appease the nine planets or navagrahas to remove evil energies from the atmosphere and to purify the household. Both husband and wife along with other family members sit around the fire and the priest chants the sacred mantras.
Homas are also done to propitiate Goddess Lakshmi for abundance and prosperity and for overall well-being.
Boiling of milk
After the homa, the lady of the house boils the milk and the milk should boil and spill over to usher in abundance. The milk is boiled at an auspicious time and offered first to the family deity or Kula devata. It is then distributed to all those present in the ceremony.
Serving of food
The priests should be well fed and a sumptuous meal should be served to all. The members should stay overnight in the house and they should not lock the house at any cost. Lamp should be kept burning to attract spiritual energies and for divine protection.
Days to avoid Griha Pravesh
Tuesdays, New Moon days, first day of the Tamil month, tithis or the moon`s phases of 4,9,14 are to be avoided for Griha Pravesh ceremonies. It is also avoided, when a lady of the house is expecting a child.