PERSIAN NEW YEAR; NOWRUZ, EXPLAINED TO NON-PERSIANS
Nowruz is the Iranian new year which comes around March 21 each year and is celebrated worldwide by various Persians and Non-Persians.
Nowruz is a rite dating back to at least the 6th century BCE, marking the new year and ushering in spring. Many countries which are placed along the Silk Roads such as Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkey and etc would celebrate this day in their own way.
Some of the festival’s earliest origins lie in, marking one of the holiest days in the ancient Zoroastrian calendar. Also, the return of the spring was seen to have great spiritual significance, symbolising the triumph of good over evil and joy over sorrow.
Nowruz is also associated with a great variety of local traditions such as the story of Amu Nowruz and Nane Sarma, Haji Firoz, Khane Tekani and etc.
On the day of Nowruz, there is much feasting, visiting family members and friends, and exchanging gifts. A wide range of cultural performances and traditions also take place. Children are often given small toys and traditionally play with colourfully painted eggs. Families and within communities share a symbolic meal, often consisting of cooked rice and vegetables combined with many local ingredients.
One of the most important and widespread traditions of Nowruz is the preparation of the Nowruz table called Haft-Sin. In this table, a various number of symbolic objects takes place which differs slightly from region to region and in each culture. These objects symbolise purity, brightness, abundance, happiness and fertility for the new year. In Iran, the table displays seven objects, each starting with the letter ‘S’, That’s why it’s called “Sofreh-ye Haft Sin” as S in Persian Language is pronounced ‘Sin’.
In recognition of the importance of this ancient rite, Nowruz was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009. Moreover, in 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March International Nowruz Day.
Check out our Instagram account where we post more information about Nowruz and its traditions such as Chaharshanbe Suri the Festive of Fire.