By: Nancy Festarini

Time for Spring Cleaning

Tags: Spring Cleaning

The idea of spring cleaning has been around for thousands of years. In fact, in some cultures, doing an annual deep cleaning is associated with more than just clearing out dirt and clutter.       For example:
In Jewish custom, Passover marks the exodus of the Jews from Egypt and takes place two weeks after the
Jewish New Year. Because keeping leavened bread in the home during Passover is considered an affront,
even overlooked crumbs count. To combat inadvertently insulting God, Jews scour their homes
before Passover to ensure they didn't miss any bread. Since Passover comes around April, many people in
the northern hemisphere consider this the origin of spring cleaning.                                                                       The Chinese also have a tradition of doing an annual cleaning of their homes, but they do it in conjunction with the Chinese New Year, which occurs in late January. The Chinese will sweep their floors and clean to get rid of bad luck that accumulated during the previous year. Once the house is clean, they welcome good fortune by observing a prohibition against sweeping for the few days following the New Year in order to prevent sweeping away any good fortune that came with the turn of the year.

Ultimately, doing an annual cleaning in spring may have more to do with simple biology. During winter, we're exposed to less sunlight due to shorter, often dreary days. We have less energy because shorter days lead to the production of melatonin, which induces sleepiness. Conversely, when we're exposed to sunlight in the spring, we feel more awake, and also more like freshening up after a long, closed-in winter.