One of Japan’s year-end traditions is ōsōji, which literally translates to “big clean.” While it roughly equates with the Western concept of spring cleaning, ōsōji is connected to Shinto practices of purifying homes and shrines for the coming new year. Since most people are on vacation from work and school, theoretically the entire family is around to pitch in and help.

With colder months seeming to herald a rise in COVID-19 cases, coupled with the fact that the Japanese government is calling on businesses to extended new-year holidays to mitigate crowding and lessen the risk of infection, it might be prudent to follow local customs and take some time to give your home a literal and spiritual cleanse this winter.

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