new year cleaning

No matter where you’re from, New Year’s superstitions and traditions fill our holiday celebrations with an abundance of wonderful food, Zoom parties, excitement, and most of all, hope. New Year’s Eve is a time for leaving the old behind and creating a happy and prosperous new. Many cultures bring in the new year with some common New Year’s traditions, like kissing your loved one at midnight, cheersing with champagne, singing “Auld Lang Syne,” and eating black-eyed peas!

Most of us look forward to these traditions, but there are also plenty of New Year’s superstitions to be wary of. Who wants to jinx the chance of finding love, getting rich, or some other glorious experience in the new year? We don’t, and we bet you don’t, either. That’s why you’ll be happy to hear that a common New Year’s cleaning superstition found worldwide involves not cleaning on New Year’s Day. That’s right, we said it, not cleaning. As in, don’t wash on New Year’s Day, don’t scrub, and whatever you do, don’t sweep!

It turns out cleaning house on New Year’s Day, the day before, or even between Christmas and New Year’s can bring you bad luck. Depending on which New Year’s cleaning superstitions you follow, you may not have to sweep, mop, dust, or do laundry on New Year’s Day. The washing clothes on New Year’s superstition sounds lucky to us!

We know what you’re thinking: “Tell me more.”

Cleaning on New Year’s Day Can Ruin a Whole Year

Well, that’s the superstition, anyway. If you don’t feel up to cleaning on New Year’s Day and would like a dose of good luck, read on for the fine print.

Not cleaning on New Year’s Day isn’t the only superstition to attract good luck. You might be surprised to learn there are plenty of superstitions from all over the world that involve making messes! What to do?

Here are 13 New Year’s superstitions from around the world that may need a little cleanup if you try them at home.

1. China

We’ll start with China because it seems to be where the cleaning on New Year’s Day superstition began. For centuries, the Chinese have believed cleaning on the first couple of days of a new year, especially sweeping on New Year’s Day, brings bad luck. Since this seems to be one of the oldest New Year’s superstitions, go ahead and skip the sweeping. We’re not sure if skipping vacuuming on New Year’s Day yields the same effect.

You’ll be okay either way, because another Chinese New Year’s superstition says you should have a clean house before New Year’s arrives. You didn’t really think your house could stay dirty throughout the holidays in the name of good luck, did you? But no one said you have to clean it yourself. Let The Maids bring you fortune and happiness with our holiday cleaning services. But keep reading, because you may be in for more messes than you thought.

2. Belgium

Belgians eat chocolate, but they also kiss at midnight, exchange well wishes, and raise a glass to absent friends. In Belgium, you also, don’t just wish your relatives and neighbors a happy new year; you extend the courtesy to your livestock too! If you do decide to bring your livestock inside to wish them a happy new year, you may want to check out this carpet stain guide for some New Year’s cleaning help.

3. Peru

If you celebrate holidays like some Peruvians, you may have taken part in the como se llama, Takanakuy, see what I did there? It’s an annual fistfight with your neighbors on Christmas Day. You’d better take care of any bloodstains before they dry, because you’ll be making an additional mess on New Year’s Eve: if you want to start the new year right, all you have to do is build an effigy of some local official you dislike and burn it. A little savage perhaps, but relax, next up is something much tamer.

4. Switzerland

In Switzerland, superstitions thought to bring prosperity include intentionally throwing a scoop of what we assume to be delicious ice cream on the floor. The Swiss also celebrate the new year twice because they follow the Julian calendar. That means ice cream on the floor on the 1st and the 13th! If you celebrate the new year like the Swiss, you should know how to handle ice cream messes.

5. Ecuador

If you celebrate New Year’s like an Ecuadorian, you’re in for a bit more burning. At midnight, people burn a newspaper-stuffed scarecrow that represents burning away bad luck. SCAAAARY! Ecuadorians are also fond of burning photos of the past because they may dredge up bad memories. I can think of one or two I’d like to part with Just be sure to practice fire safety and use this guide for cleaning up burn marks and fireworks stains.

6. Brazil

In very telanovela fashion, you may end up washing clothes on New Year’s Day if you want to keep evil spirits away. You’ll also need to wear white. The brilliance and symbolic purity of the color scares the forces of darkness away, setting up an evil spirit-free year. If you are lucky enough to celebrate New Year’s in Brazil, you’ll be interested in knowing that you will need to wear colorful underwear for good luck, tooEither way, we’re sure you want to look your best, so check out our stain removal guide before New Year’s rolls around.

7. Estonia

In Estonia, one superstition is that the more food you eat on New Year’s Day, the more plentiful it will be in the coming year. How many meals should you eat if you want to celebrate New Year’s like an Estonian? Seven meals on New Year’s Day seem to be the standard, but nine and even 12 meals are considered just as lucky. Popular dishes include sauerkraut and marzipan. If you bring in your new year like they do in Estonia, consider keeping this bathroom cleaning guide on hand.

8. Denmark

One of Denmark’s most popular New Year’s superstitions creates quite a mess, but at least you can do it outside. The idea is to save any broken dishes throughout the year and then throw the shards at the homes of your friends and neighbors to spread good luck. It’s unlikely you have any broken dishes saved up, and you’re probably not going to break one just to be like the Danes, but we can at least help you get ready for next year and make sure those dishes are clean when they break.

9. Scotland

According to the Scottish superstition of “first-footing,” the first person to enter your home in the new year determines your fortunes for the coming year. Who the Scots consider to be a “lucky” first-footer is very specific: a dark-haired man bearing a coin, a lump of coal, a piece of bread, and a drink of whisky is ideal.

If you can make that happen, you deserve all the good luck you can get. If you can’t, why not let one of our cleaning team members be the first one through the door? We’ll get your home sparkling clean after the holidays with one of our popular cleaning services and kick your new year off right.

10. Romania

If you want to know your future for the new year, you could read tea leaves or cards, but why not do it like the Romanians? In Romania, some people peel onions on the 31st, salt them, and then read their skins to see the future. Who knows? Give it a try—we’ve got you covered with our odor-eliminating guide. On the plus side, Romanians think cleaning on New Year’s Day is bad luck, too.

11. South Africa

South Africa takes a unique approach to New Year’s cleaning superstitions. All across the country, people celebrate by throwing all kinds of clutter out their windows. This “out with the old, in with the new” approach helps bring good luck and a fresh start. We don’t recommend throwing TVs, appliances, and furniture out your window, but we can help you declutter to get your shot at a fresh start.

12. Ireland

If you want to start the new year on a positive note, consider celebrating like the Irish. To ensure plenty of food for the coming year, place some buttered bread outside your door. The “modern” acceptable practice allows you to eat bread and butter with your New Year’s meal instead of throwing it outside. You can also bang a hard loaf of bread on the wall at midnight to get rid of evil spirits. There’s no mention if the hard bread should be buttered or not, but this butter stain guide should come in handy regardless.

13. Portugal

Before the celebration starts, the Portuguese make sure ALL hampers are empty in their homes as dirty clothes bring bad luck! In this full pile of clean clothes, you will find clean sheets to make your bed, bringing happiness to their love life in the year ahead. They also warn to avoid arguments of any kind on the first day of the year because that will set the pace for the rest of the year!

Why let a dirty house, superstitions, and bad luck put a damper on the brand new year ahead when The Maids is just around the corner? You tackle throwing the plates, burning the scarecrows, and reading onions while we tackle the dirt, grease, and grime. Between the two of us, we’re bound to bring plenty of good luck in the New Year!


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