‘Dust’ is homophonic with “chen” in Chinese, which means old and past. In this way, ‘sweeping the dust’ before the Spring Festival means a thorough cleaning of houses to sweep away bad luck in the past year.
This custom shows a good wish of putting away old things to welcome a new life. In a word, just before the Spring Festival comes, every household will give a thorough cleaning to bid farewell to the old year and usher in the new.
Not only you should avoid cleaning your house during the Chinese New Year, but washing hair and clothes is also forbidden. Make sure instead of sweeping away the dirt, you spend time with your family this coming year.
If one ought to sweep during the first three days of the New Year celebration (extremely superstitious Chinese say until the fifth day), it is important to collect the dust in a corner to keep the new arrived good luck inside the house.