Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Culture: Spring cleaning

It's time for some spring cleaning!
Rubber gloves...usually kept under the kitchen sink!

In Japan, people clean their homes and workplaces at the end of the year.
They wash away the dust and energy of the past year.
It is a way to prepare for the new year.
The end of year clean is a Japanese tradition.

We also have an annual cleaning event.
Annual = Every year / Once a year
Our annual cleaning is called 'spring cleaning'.
Our annual clean out is traditionally during the first warm days of the new year.
The first warm days are in spring.
Spring is the season of sunshine and warmth.
Spring cleaning is popular in cold places.
These days 'spring cleaning' is not always in spring.
Any type of 'big cleaning' is called 'spring cleaning' now.
We can do our spring cleaning at any time of the year.

Example 1:
A. Why are you taking all those things out of the cupboard?
B. I am doing my spring cleaning.
A. Can I give you a hand? = Can I help you?
B. Sure, grab some gloves from the kitchen, under the sink.

Example 2:
A. Can you come home from work early tomorrow?
B. I wish I could, but we are re-organising the office.
A. Really? Why?
B. It's quiet at the moment, so the boss decided it was a good time to do some spring cleaning.

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