Khāne-takānī: Runup to Nowruz
Khāne-takānī Tehran's Spring Clean
Preparing Houses for Nowruz: Khāne-takānī
Nowruz is a major holiday in Iran, marking the start of the Persian new year and the arrival of spring. One of the key traditions associated with this holiday is the practice of “shaking the house “”Khāne-takānī,” in which families clean and prepare their homes for the new year.
Khāne-takānī (Persian: خانهتکانی, lit. Shaking the house) is an Iranian tradition of spring cleaning and part of the Nowruz festival. It usually involves washing carpets, painting the house, and cleaning the yard and attic, stems from the Zoroastrians’ idea of purifying with cleanliness as a measure for keeping Evil away from the kingdom of Good.
The tradition of shaking the house dates back centuries and is meant to symbolize a fresh start and the removal of any negative energy from the previous year. It is a time for families to come together and work together to clean and prepare their homes for the upcoming festivities.
Khāne-takānī means Spring Cleaning!
To prepare for Nowruz, families start by decluttering their homes and getting rid of anything that is no longer needed. This may include old clothes, papers, or other items that have accumulated over the past year. Once the home is decluttered, the real cleaning begins!
Every nook and cranny of the house is cleaned, from the floors to the ceilings – that’s Khāne-takānī. This may include washing windows, scrubbing floors, dusting furniture, and even repainting walls. Some families also choose to decorate their homes with new furnishings or accessories to mark the occasion.
Hired Help for Khāne-takānī
During the period leading up to Nowruz, many families in Iran employ laborers to help with the cleaning and preparation of their homes. This is because the process of shaking the house can be quite labor-intensive, especially for larger households or families with busy schedules.
To find laborers for cleaning and other household tasks, many families turn to word of mouth recommendations or local job boards. Some also hire workers through cleaning services or agencies that specialize in household staffing.
Once a laborer has been hired, they may be tasked with a wide range of cleaning and organizational tasks, depending on the family’s needs. This may include dusting, sweeping, mopping, washing windows, and cleaning carpets or upholstery. They may also be responsible for decluttering and organizing storage spaces, such as closets or cabinets.
In addition to basic cleaning tasks, some families may also hire laborers to help with more specialized jobs, such as painting, repairing furniture, or installing new fixtures or appliances. This is especially common for families who are planning to host guests during the Nowruz holiday and want their homes to look their best.
Taking the riddance further
In the run up to Nowruz families also perform a symbolic ritual known as “chaharshanbe soori,” in which they light bonfires in the streets and jump over the flames.
This tradition is meant to symbolize the burning away of any negative energy and the ushering in of new beginnings.
Overall, the tradition of shaking the house is an important part of preparing for Nowruz in Iran. It is a time for families to come together, work towards a common goal, and start the new year off on the right foot.
By cleaning and decluttering their homes, Iranians believe that they are creating a positive and welcoming space for the new year and all the possibilities that it holds.
Read about Nowruz here!