Lunar New Year: Why is spring cleaning a Lunar New Year ritual?

The tedious job of cleaning a room or the house is something not many people look forward to, but to families who celebrate Lunar New Year, it is an important ritual.

Spring cleaning normally starts on the 24th day of the 12th lunar month, which this year is Jan. 26, while Lunar New Year this year is Feb. 1.

The word “dust” in Chinese is a homophone for “old” and that is why cleaning the house is symbolic for driving away bad luck from the previous year and to allow for good luck to come in.

Lunar New Year: Why is spring cleaning a Lunar New Year ritual?

Cleaning includes sweeping the house, washing windows, fixing broken objects and even washing the dishes.

Many people also take this time to repaint their homes or fix anything that is broken.

Typically, a room or house is cleaned from the entrance to the centre, and if you have a back door, that’s where garbage is taken out. People believe that the front door is the entrance where good luck comes in.

All these have to be done before midnight of the new lunar year.

There are some families that are so strict that cleaning tools like brooms are put away and not used for at least the first few days after the New Year begins or else the good fortune brought in will be swept away.

No cleaning is done on the day of Lunar New Year.