Category Archives: Cleaning

Spring Traditions

spring gardenSix weeks ago the groundhog saw his shadow and declared winter wasn’t over. Between then and now we’ve had indicators that spring was on the way. Holi, a moveable festival, took place on March 2.  Daylight Savings Time in the U.S. started last Sunday.

But tomorrow is the Spring Equinox when Spring becomes official in the Northern Hemisphere. An  equinox is when light and darkness are approximately equal. In Spring the hours of daylight lengthen, and life begins its annual renewal. It’s a time to celebrate.

Colorful Easter EggsSpring festivals abound. Prior to the Julian Calendar in 45 BCE, the spring equinox marked the beginning of the new year. Time may have moved to January, but spring continues to mark renewal, new beginnings, and ancient customs.

DECORATING EGGS

The tradition of decorating eggs, for example, began long before Christians adapted the custom to Easter. Goddess Ostara, a moon goddess of spring and fertility, held an egg as a symbol of fertility. Her sacred animal was a hare that laid eggs. Hence the still celebrated Easter Bunny.

Druids buried eggs to insure fertility of the land. Beforehand they dyed the eggs red to symbolize menstrual blood and draw life force into the land.

In ancient Egypt and Persia people exchanged decorated eggs at the spring equinox. Hundreds of years later King Edward I’s household record shows his order to decorate 450 eggs to be given as Easter gifts.

SPRING CLEANING

Vacuum Cleaner 1906Another custom of the season is Spring Cleaning, now a synonym for “deep cleaning.” More than a chance to open up the house to fresh spring air, Spring Cleaning underpins two spring festivals.

Iranian tradition celebrates the new year as Now Rouz. Two weeks prior, Iranians embark on khaneh takani, the “Shaking of the House.” The entire house is scoured, and fresh flowers are brought in to renew energy.

The Jewish custom of Pesah, Passover, also involves cleaning. Passover celebrates the Hebrew escape from Egypt when the people had no time to bake leavened bread. Prior to the festival believers deep clean their house to remove any crumbs of leavened bread that may have escaped normal cleaning.

Whether you “Spring Clean” or not, Spring is a time of Joy, Renewal and New Life. It’s about going outside and experiencing all that Nature has to offer. Enjoy this seasonal bridge between Winter and Summer.

Swan with nine cygnets

Illustrations from Wikimedia Commons.

Garden with Tulips and Narcissus by Anita Martinz. Creative Commons Attribution.

Easter Basket with Eggs by Toelstede. Creative Commons Attribution.

The Deducting Pump 1906. Public Domain.

Mute Swan with Nine Cygnets by S. Sepp. Creative Commons Attribution.

Josh Clark. “Why do we Traditionally Clean our Homes at the Beginning of Spring?” How Stuff Works.

Kathleen Halloran. “A History of Spring Traditions.” Mother Earth Living. Feb/Mar. 1999.

Miranda Omer. “The Meaning of the Spring Season.” Mother Nature Network. Mar. 7, 2010.

Nola Taylor Redd. “Spring: Season of New Beginnings.” Live Science. Mar. 17, 2016.

Wash Day Miracle

We don’t think much about washing clothes. Which is to say most of us don’t think it’s an enjoyable occupation. This is true whether we take our washing to the laundromat, or have the luxury of a home machine. For some bizarre reason, every time I use the washing machine, I think it’s some kind… Continue Reading

Is There a “Perfect” Closet?

Is There a “Perfect” Closet?

  Spring officially begins in about a month. Some people think of bunnies and chicks. Some wonder if they should clean something. I dream of organizing my closet. There’s nothing really wrong with my closet. It has a rack and top shelf on either side. One side has a dresser with room to stand the… Continue Reading

“Spring-Clean” is a Verb

“Spring-Clean” is a Verb

Until today, I didn’t know “spring-clean” is a verb. So the ladies in our featured image may not be sweeping the floor. They could be spring-cleaning it. If so, I’m sure they’ll remember to clean their brooms afterwards. When used as a noun, a spring clean is a thorough cleaning of a house, often undertaken… Continue Reading

Make Laundry Day a Happy Day

Make Laundry Day a Happy Day

Throughout history, there has been laundry. As proof I submit today’s featured image of women in ancient Greece filling a wash tub. And, as long as there has been laundry, people — usually women — have complained about having to do it. But the truth is, washing clothes today isn’t nearly the chore that it… Continue Reading

CLEAN HOUSE – CLEANSED MIND?

    Some of my Twitter followers know I recently cleaned out my closet (because I couldn’t find anything to wear) and rediscovered “the collection room” floor (I knew it had to be there somewhere). When Matthew Wright (no relation), member of the  #myWANA hashtag group on Twitter, realized I’d inadvertently begun cleaning my closet,… Continue Reading

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