Originally published in the 2016 March issue of The Beacon magazine for Olentangy High School
No other season motivates those suffering from chronic disorganization like the one at present. But what inspires us to make our living space just as beautiful as it is outside? Is it the budding greenery, or the fear of pollen and collected dust hijacking our sinuses?
“We clean in the spring to get clutter out of the house, and start new for the season,” Emma W. ‘18 said.
Whatever one’s personal motivations, the practice itself spans across cultures. The cleaning ritual of Khaneh-Tekani—or “shaking house”—is meant to prep the home for the Persian, Iranian and Zoroastrian New Year called Nowruz, according to howstuffworks.com.
In its origins, Thailand’s festival Songkran was a time to clean and to show respect for elders, by pouring water used to clean Buddha statues onto them. This cleansing tradition has since modernized into a mass water gun fight in the streets, since temperatures can reach up to 100 degrees in the spring.
For the week of Passover, Jews eat the flatbread “matzo” in remembrance of the Israelites’ escape from slavery. People may burn, give away or donate chametz to get rid of it, on top of cleaning their house thoroughly. Having chametz, products used to make bread rise, in the house during Passover is frowned upon. However, this is not synonymous in every Jewish household.
“My great grandparents never did any of that and they were very religious. It’s more of an orthodox thing. It depends on the person and how religious they are,” Julianna Kickbusch ‘17 said.
Spring cleaning takes place in varying degrees of cleanliness, whether it be the soul, the body or the home. Yet the theme of clean seems to be universal wherever we come from, and whatever we do or do not celebrate.