07 February, 2021

New Year Preparations

That's right. A new year is coming soon! The Lunar one!

Year of the Ox will begin on February 12. I love lunar new year. Many people worldwide call it Chinese New Year, but more people celebrate it than just the Chinese, and since moving to Vietnam, I call it Tết, like the locals.

I've hung decorations on the door, and under the garden umbrella. We're slowly putting money into red envelopes (when we get appropriate-sized bills) to hand to the kids we know. And the cleaning has started.

In China I had heard of the tradition to clean house before the holiday. Everything at the start of the new year should be clean and bright, new if needed. One student told me about spending an afternoon shortly before the new year cleaning light fixtures: dusting the lamp or shade, but also removing the bulbs and dusting them. The light in your house should be bright to illuminate... something. 

So after 2021 began, I decided to deep clean one thing a day until Tết. If it's already a day to do laundry or bathrooms or mop, I don't add an extra task, but on days with no chore, I find one. 

So far I've cleaned the lights that I can (most of our ceiling lights are recessed so can't be removed); I've been dusting more regularly and thoroughly; I've done the windows and the glass doors within the house, I've orange-cleaned the kitchen surfaces (this gets done regularly, but not as often). The big chore was the fans.

We live in the tropics, and our house has no ceiling fan. So we have six floor fans spread throughout the rooms. They are in use most of the year. Even when it's cold, you need to keep the air moving so mold spores don't settle, so the fans get filthy. I dust off the tops periodically, but a couple times a year we take them apart, soap down the blades, and take a brush to the inside and outside of the grills. We did that yesterday.

What a difference! If cleaning the lights makes the light brighter, cleaning the fans gives the lights something bright to shine on. Plus, the air is cleaner without blowing dust back into the room.