Happy new year ! Nowruz is a celebration of spring coming to our lives . its the celebration of life and light .
Wish you all a happy happy new year no matter if you celebrate it or not . may peace prevail in our world .
Iranian new Year - Nowruz
Nowruz, the Iranian/Persian New Year starts on the exact moment of the Vernal Equinox. As it is marked by the beginning of spring, Nowruz is the
universal celebration of renewal and rebirth. Just when the flowers blossom and the trees come to life ....
Nowruz is celebrated and observed by Iranian peoples and the related cultural continent and has spread in many other parts of the world, including
parts of Central Asia, Caucasus, South Asia, Northwestern China, the Crimea and some groups in the Balkans.
Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward
equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday and
having significance amongst the Zoroastrian ancestors of modern Iranians, the same time is celebrated in parts of the South Asian sub-continent as the
The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to
observe the rituals.
At the time of the equinox, the sun is observed to be directly over the equator, and the north and south poles of the Earth lie along the solar
terminator; sunlight is evenly divided between the north and south hemispheres.
In around the 11th century CE major reforms of the Iranian calendars took place and whose principal purpose were to fix the beginning of the calendar
year, i.e. Nowrūz, at the vernal equinox. Accordingly, the definition of Nowruz given by the Iranian scientist "Ṭūsī "was the following: "the
first day of the official new year [Nowruz] was always the day on which the sun entered Aries before noon".
The UN's General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of Norooz, describing it a spring festival of Persian origin which has been
celebrated for over 3,000 years. During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United
Nations, held between 28 September 2 October 2009 in Abu Dhabi, Nowrūz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural
Heritage of Humanity.
Nowruz is a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of the next. Children have a fourteen-day
vacation from school, and most adults do not work during the Nowruz festivities. Throughout the holiday period friends and family gather at each
others houses for meals and conversation. Preparing for Nowruz starts a few weeks prior to the New Year with a traditional spring cleaning of the
home. At this time it is also customary to purchase new clothing for the family and new furniture for the home.
Chahar Shanbe Suri: The Fire Jumping Traditions
On the night of the last Wednesday of the old year Chahar Shanbe Suri, in Persian, is celebrated. During the night of Chahar Shanbe Suri people
traditionally gather and light small bonfires in the streets and jump over the flames shouting: Zardie man az to, sorkhie to az man in Persian,
which means, May my sickly pallor be yours and your red glow be mine. With this phrase, the flames symbolically take away all of the unpleasant
things that happened in the past year. Because jumping over a fire is dangerous, many people today simply light the bonfire and shout the special
phrase without getting too close to the flames.
Tahvil: The Exact Moment of the New Year
Families return home after the events of Chahar Shanbe Suri and wait together for the exact moment when the vernal equinox occurs, in Persian called
Tahvil. Today people know the moment of Tahvil through searching on the Internet or looking in the newspaper. However, before these sources of
information were available, families knew that the New Year was close when a special person called Haji Firooz came to the neighborhood to sing, dance
and spread the news of owruz. Haji Firooz is usually dressed in a red satin outfit with his/her face painted as a disguise.
When the New Year is just minutes away families and friends gather together and wait for Tahvil to occur. Right after the moment of Nowruz, the family
exchanges well wishes such as Happy New Year or Sal-e No Mobarak! in Persian. Next, the eldest in the family distributes special sweets and
candies to everyone, and young children are given coins as presents. It is also traditional for families and neighbors to visit each other and
exchange special gifts.
Haft-Seen Table: The Table of Seven Ss
The most important activity in the celebration of Nowruz is making the haft-seen table. Haft is the Persian word for the number seven and seen is the
Persian word for the letter S. Literally, the haft-seen table means a table of seven things that start with the letter S. Creating the haft-seen
table is a family activity that begins by spreading a special family cloth on the table. Next the table is set with the seven S items.
Here are some of the items and what they symbolize:
Sumac (crushed spice of berries): For the sunrise and the spice of life
Senjed (sweet dry fruit of the lotus tree): For love and affection
Serkeh (vinegar): For patience and age
Seeb (apples): For health and beauty
Sir (garlic): For good health
Samanu (wheat pudding): For fertility and the sweetness of life
Sabzeh (sprouted wheat grass): For rebirth and renewal of nature
In addition to these S items, there are other symbolic items that go on the haft-seen table, depending on the tradition of each family. It is
customary to place a mirror on the table to symbolize reflection on the past year, an orange in a bowl of water to symbolize the Earth, a bowl of real
goldfish to symbolize new life, colored eggs to represent fertility, coins for prosperity in the New Year, special flowers called hyacinths to
symbolize spring and candles to radiate light
and happiness. Each family places other items on the table that are special, for example the Quran, the holy book of Islam, or the Shahnameh, an
epic Persian story of colorful kings and princes written around the year 1000 CE.
Another important item to place on the haft-seen table is a book of poetry by the famous poet Shams ud-Din Hafez.Hafez lived in Persian lands during
the 14th Century CE and wrote many volumes of poetry and prose narratives.Many Persians consider Hafez to be their national poet, and his historical
status is similar to the importance of Shakespeare in the English-speaking world.
Happy new year everyone .