Rituals Associated With Sweeping and Cleaning
Wash away the dirt on nián niàn bā 年廿八 (a as in father) the 28th day of the final month of the old year
干净 gān jìng to make ‘clean’
Attention to detail very much resembles the religious rituals of Jews associated with dietary laws, with Chinese bad fortune the equivalent of Jewish violation of God’s law.
House cleaning occurs on the 28th day of the last month of the old year, just prior to the Chinese New Year. Red trimmings are placed on doorways and windows to scare away the monster Nian as it is afraid of the color red. This practice diverted from hanging peach-wood charms on doors, since tradition has it that this is considered effective to keep away ghosts and evil spirits and enhance immortality.
Bamboo leaves are used to clean the house, as bamboo is believed to drive out evil spirits. Cleaning the house symbolizes sweeping out any misfortune or traces of bad luck.
During the Chinese New Year, sweeping the house should be avoided--especially during the first three days--since otherwise upcoming good luck would be swept out. If one ought to sweep during the first three days of the New Year celebration, it is important to collect the dust in a corner to keep the newly arrived good luck inside the house.