National Purge Day

Young woman wearing cleaning gloves, happily dusting a sparkling clean house, surrounded by freshly laundered linens..
National purge day illustration

Hold on to your hats folks, because we're delving into the thrilling history of National Purge Day. Now, fret not, this isn't about what you might be thinking (definitely no dystopian, lawless chaos). Presumably, this day traces back to a less menacing, alternative meaning of purge: the act of cleansing or ridding of impurities - or just a day to do a great house cleaning!

When is Purge Day?

It's national purge day on the 27th October.

The Clean Truth

After some intense online sleuthing, we've found that National Purge Day, as we know it, isn't rooted in any sci-fi horror film, but possibly a random call to encourage a digital or household cleanse. Our first recorded mention occurs on 27th Oct 2016 with a spike of 42 mentions - a day remarkable for its call to purge or clean... probably your closet, files or email inbox and not your neighborhood!

All About Purging

The term 'purge' essentially means to remove or get rid of something undesirable, and 'National Purge Day' therefore potentially suggests a communal effort to clean and de-clutter. This interpretation is a far departure from having any unsavory connotations, giving us all a little breathing room to laugh about how our imaginations went wild!

A Day of Clean Slates

So in this spirit of cleanliness and positive vibes, let's warmly embrace 'National Purge Day' as a chance to socially distance ourselves from the clutter in our lives both physically and digitally, and reset to a sparkling clean slate.

History behind the term 'Purge'

1350 AD

Origins of the Term

The term 'purge' can be traced back to around 1350 AD when it entered the English language. It was derived from the Latin word 'purgare,' which means 'to purify' or 'to cleanse.' Initially, the term was primarily used in a religious context, referring to the act of purifying or cleansing oneself of sins through repentance.

16th Century

Medical Purging

During the 16th century, the term 'purge' expanded its meaning to encompass the medical practice of removing harmful substances from the body. Physicians believed that certain illnesses were caused by an excess of bodily fluids or toxins. To treat these conditions, they would prescribe purgatives, substances that induced vomiting or bowel movements to cleanse the body.

17th Century

Political Purges

In the 17th century, the term 'purge' took on a new connotation related to politics. It became associated with the act of removing or eliminating individuals or groups considered enemies or threats to a ruling power. Various rulers and regimes throughout history utilized political purges to consolidate their authority or suppress dissent. These purges often involved arrests, imprisonments, exiles, or executions.

20th Century

Cultural Impact

The term 'purge' gained significant cultural impact in the 20th century. It became a popular theme in literature, films, and other forms of media, often depicting dystopian societies where the government or a totalitarian regime conducts mass purges to maintain control. This cultural portrayal contributed to the term's widespread recognition and association with oppressive regimes.

Did you know?

Even though it might seem like a modern concept, the act of purging or spring cleaning can be traced back to the ancient Jewish practice of cleansing the home in anticipation of the spring-time memorial feast of Passover.


awareness fun property culture film fans discussion internet phenomenon cleaning declutter

First identified

27th April 2015

Most mentioned on

27th October 2016

Total mentions


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