Spring cleaning is all about deep cleaning the house from ceiling to floor. It stems from a compulsive behavior to get rid of dust and dirt accumulated during the winter season. Perhaps some may have to deal with allergic reactions as well.
But for people in the eastern hemisphere, spring cleaning is more than just getting rid of nasty junk and dirt that heightens allergic reactions. It means getting rid of cobwebs in the mind and soul. It paves the way to a clean and fresh start. You may be surprised to find out that spring cleaning is deeply rooted in the east. Let us delve into some surprising spring cleaning trivia.
Why is it called spring cleaning?
Spring cleaning is on the first day of spring. There is a biological urge to spring clean after a long month of hiatus. The body produces more melatonin during winter resulting in sleepiness. Thus when spring comes, the body becomes energized after storing much energy during winter.
Spring cleaning trivia around the world
Where did spring cleaning originate?
Spring cleaning has deep-seated religious and cultural origins.
· The Passover
A Jewish custom to celebrate Passover to mark the liberation of Jews from slavery in Egypt. Houses are deep-cleaned before the start of the holiday. Then, bread made with yeast, or chametz, is removed from the home to commemorate the liberation of the Israelites. The tradition dates back to Biblical times. The Israelites were in a hurry to flee. They did not have time to wait for the bread to rise. So, they relied on unleavened bread in their journey.
· Christian Tradition
Catholics clean the altar before the Easter celebration, which coincides with spring. This ritual is to be taken back into the homes of churchgoers.
· Shaking the House
The Persian (Iranian) New Year holiday, otherwise known as Nowruz, falls on the first day of spring. It is also the first day on the Persian calendar. Locals do a spring cleaning ritual known as Khaneh-Tekani (shaking the house) before the New Year celebration. Family members do their share in cleaning every nook and cranny of the house. It is a time to clean all household items that don’t get cleaned so often. Carpets, pots and pans, furniture pieces, and even garden debris are all cleaned like hell! More than just bonding and physically cleaning, Khaneh-Tekani symbolizes driving away past and evil spirits.
· Kung Hei Fat Choy
In China, spring cleaning is before the first day of the Lunar New Year. It means getting rid of the bad luck to usher in good luck for the New Year.
It is time to repaint the home and fix anything broken. The room swept from the entrance to the center. Good luck entering through the front door. Hence, trash should be out the back door.
· Sacred Purification
In Thailand, New Year is the holiday of Songkran – a festival of purification – that falls in spring. People pour water over each other in the streets. They also pour water over the statues of Buddha, believing that blessings and good luck will come in the New Year. Houses are cleaned from top to bottom. It symbolizes washing away sins and bad luck.
· Golden Week
The Japanese spring cleans their homes during Golden Week to welcome the deities of the New Year. It is seven days from late April to early May that contains four national holidays.
· The British Tradition
Spring cleaning takes place in the spring or early summer. First, the house undergoes thorough periodical cleaning – scrubbing the floor, beating beds and mattresses, and thoroughly disinfecting every piece of furniture before putting back in place.
· North American Tradition
Annual spring cleaning took place in the spring out of necessity. In the 1800s, homes were heated with wood in fireplaces or coal stoves during winter. Light came from oil or kerosene lamps. Just imagine a thick layer of soot and grime to be washed away.
2. What country does spring cleaning in December?
You might be surprised to know that not all frenzy cleaning is in spring. Take Guatemala, for example. Every December 7, Families band together during the Quema Del Diablo Festival. They burn trash and deep clean their homes. It symbolizes driving away evil spirits and finding spiritual cleanliness before the Christmas holiday season kicks in.
3. What is the cleanest country in the world?
Did you ever wonder what country is the cleanest? According to the 2020 Environmental Performance Index, Denmark scored the highest among the ten countries. It is no easy feat. For Denmark, cleanliness is not just for comfort and health – it is a way of life.
Are you curious how they do it? That’s another spring cleaning trivia for you to discover!
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