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Why Do They Call It Spring Cleaning and Where Did It Come From?

Words By Martina

Martina is a wellness and skin-health writer, blogger, teacher, mother to twins and world traveler (not necessarily in that order). She believes that life is all about balance and has a special way of taking complicated topics and making them a pleasure to read. Her words are honest, informative and warm. Learn more about your skin health from Martina.

We all know about spring cleaning. Whether we actually do it is a whole other question. But why do they call it spring cleaning? Why isn’t it winter cleaning or fall cleaning? It turns out there is a very good reason for it and there are deeper historical links to a spring clean than we might have thought.

Spring cleaning takes place in spring – who would have thought? In the modern day, we look at spring cleaning as a time in spring when we get out our spring cleaning checklist, give our homes a big clean and just get rid of some of the accumulated dirt, dust and clutter from the past year. It’s a real ritual and ‘thing’ to do. What many people don’t know is that spring cleaning actually has strong cultural, religious and historical links.

Passover

One link is the Jewish tradition of Passover. The Judeo-Christian community has a strong link to spring cleaning in that the Book of Exodus states that the Israelites had to flee Egypt in a hurry and didn’t have time for their bread to rise so had to survive off of unleavened bread during their escape.2 During Passover, which takes place in the spring, the Torah says that to remember the liberation of the Israelites, you mustn't have any traces of leaven in the house.2 This is where the idea of the ‘spring clean’ carries on in today’s societies because it would technically have required a lot of cleaning to remove any traces of leaven back in the day. And remember, they didn’t have Swiffers or vacuum cleaners back then!

Nowruz

In the Iranian culture, they have a celebration of the Persian New Year called Nowruz which takes place on the first day of spring. During the lead up to Nowruz, they take part in a tradition called ‘Shaking the House’ (khaneh tekani) during which families help to clean their homes and get rid of all the ‘old year’ to make space for the new blessings of the year to come.1,2 Often they will fill their homes with fresh flowers for the arrival of the new year.

Historical Britain

During the Victorian times in Britain, homes were heated and lit with coal and oil. As we might expect, the burning of coal and oil would leave a sooty layer on the windows, walls and furniture throughout the winter months. In spring, when the weather started to get warmer, women could be found beating the carpets outside to get rid of the dust and grime, windows would be cleaned and the soot wiped and cleaned away in the home. Again, a similar ‘spring clean’ tradition like we have today. When it comes to cleaning, I sure am glad of our modern heating systems, that’s for sure!

Spring Is the Perfect Time To Clean

Why do they call it spring cleaning? The spring brings with it the lovely warm weather, pleasant winds, longer days and new beginnings. After a long winter, we can finally open those windows, open the doors and let the fresh air and sunlight in without getting frostbite! All these factors help to make spring the perfect time to air out our homes, clean out the grime that has built up over the winter and make a fresh, clean start. Just make sure to take good care of your skin while doing all that cleaning. Gloves In A Bottle can make that job much easier by protecting your skin from all the irritants, including the dust and grime lurking around. 

However you want to celebrate your spring cleaning in 2021, know that there are many benefits to having a good spring clean. What’s even better is that when it’s all done, you’ll feel renewed and you’ll know that you won’t have to do it for a whole year!

 

1https://safespaceco.com/the-origin-of-spring-cleaning-and-why-it-is-important/ 

2 https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/the-surprising-history-behind-spring-cleaning-53303

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