Kick-Start Spring Cleaning the Iranian Way, With Khane-Tekani
Here is an extract from an article I wrote about the tradition of spring cleaning before Iranian New Year. You can read the full article here
“As we move into the month of March, spring edges closer towards us, bringing with her the welcome promise of lighter and brighter days. Winter is naturally a time of deep hibernation and after a series of cold and dark months, it’s fair to say that a few cobwebs may have gathered around us—physically as well as metaphorically. Well, now is the time to start dusting them off.
In Iranian culture, we begin this process of spring renewal through in our preparations for Norooz, the Iranian new year. Norooz means “new day” in Farsi and is an ancient festival that has been celebrated for over 2500 years. It takes place at the exact moment of the spring equinox, which this year falls on March 20th. Like all ancient festivals, it is steeped in ritual and symbolism, the first part of which begins now, in the weeks preceding Norooz, through a process of extensive spring cleaning.
In Iranian culture, homes are being subjected to what is known as khane-tekani, which—literally translated—means “shaking down the house.” Carpets are washed, walls are painted, and that cupboard at the back of spare room which has accumulated all the debris from the past 12 months is finally sorted and emptied. It’s a case of out with the old and in with the new; time for a fresh start.