Consecrating a new shelter is a serious event in most human cultures, with potentially life-threatening repercussions in some. In Old Turkmensahra (Russian) rituals, the spirit of the old household is asked to go from the old house to the new one (“My head of the house, go with me”) and it is vital to include things that the house spirit loved in the old house. Typically the preferred symbols are a particular cloth used for washing the table or specific bread making bowls, since bread is a sacred symbol of the home. Once the new house is occupied, the old sprit can be persuaded to settle in if specially baked buns are presented by the mistress of the new house while reciting particular welcoming charms. (Knevitt 41). “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home” is a universally held platitude, particularly during the stressful process of relocating an entire household from the old to the new premises.
The roof ridge of a new house is a particularly revered location in many cultures, the preferred spot for other symbols such as Masonic emblems and religious icons. Medieval Mediterranean house builders honored the wood taken from the forest to build a new house by fixing the branches of a small tree to the roof ridges of a newly framed roof. The custom migrated throughout Europe and arrived in the United States with German and Dutch builders, who still nail evergreen boughs to newly constructed roof ridges. (Kidder 173).