Icelandic Superstitions: Moving Day - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Superstitions: Moving Day

Icelandic Superstitions: Moving Day

Published September 11, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Wikimedia Commons

So you’ve got all your stuff boxed up, you’ve got the van hired, and you’re ready to move into your new home. But are you sure you brought everything you’ll need? In Iceland, there are superstitions surrounding having a particular set of items in your new home in order to avert disaster: salt, coins, bread, a candle, and a Bible or a cross. Maybe.

We say “maybe” here because there are conflicting reports regarding which of these you will need and why. But the basic run-down is like this:

You need the salt to always have “salt in your porridge” (similar to “sugar in your tea”, i.e., to have some kind of humble luxuries that make life more bearable), the coins to ensure you’ll always have money, and the Bible or cross to keep evil spirits away. Some say you also need bread to ensure you’ll always have food, and some add the candle to ensure that the lights stay on.

These items are then placed in a small jar or pouch and kept in a safe place somewhere in the house, most often the kitchen cupboards.

So you get the basic idea: assemble a small collection of tiny items that represent the ingredients of a happy, stable home, and then stash the collection somewhere. The best thing about this is that you could very well do your own version of this. Get creative! Superstitions need not be dogmatic.

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