Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus, and cook uncovered until slightly tender, about 1 minute. Drain in a colander, then immediately immerse in ice water for several minutes until cold to stop the cooking process. Once the asparagus spears are cold, place them on paper towels to dry.
Bring vinegar, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, celery seed, and salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes.
Spread the asparagus spears in a large dish or baking pan. Pour the vinegar mixture over the asparagus. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and serve cold or at room temperature.