Spring is nearly upon us and so too the annual spring clean. Why do we traditionally have a clear out and clean when this season approaches? What is the history behind this activity? This is one tradition that nobody is really sure of and there are several explanations for its origin. Let’s take a look at some of the theories that have been put forward for why people have a spring clean.
A spring clean is a heavy duty clean sweep of our homes after the long, cold days of winter. One theory about its origin is that it dates back to the Persian new year, Iranian Norouz. The purpose was that every part of a house was cleaned to make way for the new year which fell on the first day of spring. It was called ‘shaking the house’ – khooneh takouni.
Some say that the idea of spring cleaning came from the Chinese. The Chinese carefully sweep, dust and organise their homes for the preparation of the Chinese new year. They believe that they are cleansing their home of any bad luck from the previous year and welcoming good luck to enter their homes. Sounds like a very good reason to have a clean up!
Another theory says that spring cleaning has its origins in Jewish culture. The ancient Jewish practice of cleansing the home before Passover started corresponds with spring. There are strict rules surrounding the holiday of Passover which forbids the eating and drinking of anything that might have fermented with yeast. Strict observers of this rule would clean out their homes of any possible crumbs or contamination prior to the arrival of Passover.
Other cultures have similar times set aside for the sole purposes of cleaning. In Greece there is a cleaning week where people clean and organise their homes before the first week of Lent. Some countries don’t want to wait for spring but have a tradition of new year’s cleaning, such as Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand and North America. For Commercial cleaning Belfast, visit http://www.maccleanni.com/.
There is also a scientific reasoning behind our need for a good clean out. As temperatures begin to rise, so too do the bacteria in our living environments. People start cleaning almost instinctively as away to prevent disease and promote immune function. A good spring clean rids our homes of germs, clutter and mould which helps in our fight against colds and flu.
Here are some items that don’t get cleaned very often so could benefit from some attention in your next big clean:
So if you’re suffering from spring fever, (not an actual recognised disease of course) you may feel some of the following things for which there is biological proof: a sudden urge to get fit, surges of energy due to the increase in daylight hours, craving lighter, fresher foods, sleeping less, being cheerful and looking forward to housework. Better crack out those marigolds!