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Archive for April, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Have you ever wondered why we chuck the pets in the garden, open all windows and completely bottom the house?

Back in the old days of coal fires and straw matresses it was standard precedure for the housewives to clean the house from top to bottom. The idea was to wait for the winter chill to dissappear and completely freshen the house up. The housewife would clean out the fireplaces and the soot in the house created by the fires, this included the floors. walls, ceilings and furniture in all rooms.

There was often a smell which built up over the winter period due to not being able to air sheets and blankets. Spring was a chance to be able to hang out the laundry after washing and feeding through a mangle. The matresses were normally emptied, washes and refilled with fresh hay.

Jews believed that bread was a forbidden food during ‘passover’ So spring was a chance to remove every last breadcrumb from the house before passover which is in April.

Persians believed in completely bottoming the house in which they called ‘khooneh takouni’. In English ’shaking the house’. A similar tradition is the Scottish “New Year’s cleaning” on Hogmanay.

 

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