What’s Nowruz and the way is the Persian New 12 months celebrated? | Information


Nowruz – No-Ruz or Farsi for “new day” – is an historical competition celebrating the primary day of spring within the Northern Hemisphere.

Greater than 300 million individuals have fun the Persian New 12 months, which has been noticed for greater than 3,000 years in several areas, together with the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Center East and others.

Here’s what to know in regards to the festivity.

What’s Nowruz?

Nowruz is a celebration that marks the tip of an outdated 12 months and the start of a brand new one and is widely known on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which normally takes place on March 21.

The celebrations final for 13 days, and it’s a chance to mirror on the previous and set intentions for the long run.

The competition is rooted in Zoroastrianism, a faith practised in historical Persia that predates Christianity and Islam.

articipants take a selfie during a festival marking Nauryz, an ancient holiday celebrating the spring equinox
Individuals take a selfie throughout a competition marking ‘Nauryz’, an historical vacation celebrating the spring equinox, in Kazakhstan [Pavel Mikheyev/Reuters]

In response to The United Nations cultural company (UNESCO), the return of spring has nice religious significance, representing the triumph of fine over evil and pleasure over sorrow.

“The Spirit of Midday, often known as Rapithwina, who was thought of to be pushed underground by the Spirit of Winter through the chilly months, was welcomed again with celebrations at midday on the day of Nowruz in keeping with Zoroastrian custom,” UNESCO mentioned.

The celebration is a part of UNESCO’s Consultant Checklist of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and the United Nations Normal Meeting of 2010 proclaimed March 21 as Worldwide Nowruz Day.

Who celebrates Nowruz?

Given its origins, the festivity is marked in international locations with vital Persian cultural affect, together with  Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

It is usually noticed by minority communities within the Americas, and Europe, together with in cities like Los Angeles, Toronto, and London.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in front of the Haft-sin table at the Persian community’s Nowruz New Year
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in entrance of the Haft-Seen desk on the Persian group’s Nowruz New 12 months occasion in Aurora, Ontario [Carlos Osorio/Reuters]

How do individuals have fun Nowruz?

The celebrations differ from nation to nation, however some frequent traditions are shared.

Some embrace symbolic preparations with fireplace and water and ritual dances that typically contain leaping over fires. The flames symbolically purge the dangerous experiences from the earlier 12 months.

Earlier than the beginning of Nowruz, a standard spring cleansing takes place within the homes, whereas, through the celebration, individuals reunite with household and pals. Proper earlier than the arrival of the brand new 12 months, households collect and trade needs, with the eldest distributing sweets and younger kids receiving cash and presents.

However one of the vital vital traditions lies in making ready the Haft-Seen desk.

Iraqi Kurdish people carry fire torches, as they celebrate Nowruz Day, a festival marking the first day of spring and Persian New Year, in the town of Akra near Duhok
Iraqi Kurdish individuals carry fireplace torches, as they have fun Nowruz, a competition marking the primary day of spring  within the city of Akra close to Duhok, KRG, Iraq [File: Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters]

Haft-Seen desk throughout Nowruz

The Haft-Seen desk, or the desk of seven issues that begin with the letter S, is a household exercise.

It normally begins by spreading a particular household fabric on the desk, after which it’s adopted by putting the seven S objects. These can embrace:

  • Sirkeh (vinegar): Represents age and persistence that usually comes with ageing
  • Sikkeh (coin):  For wealth and prosperity
  • Seer (garlic): For good well being
  • Seeb (apples): For well being and pure magnificence
  • Sabzeh (wheat): For rebirth, renewal and success
  • Samanu (wheat pudding): A candy dessert for wealth, fertility and the sweetness of life
  • Sumac (berries): For the dawn and the celebration of a brand new day

Moreover these components, the desk may additionally embrace a mirror to symbolically mirror the previous 12 months, painted eggs to signify fertility, a goldfish to signify new life, and candles to point out gentle and happiness.

A wide range of meals dishes are ready through the festivity, however “ash-e resteh” or noodle soup is normally served and is believed to symbolise the “many prospects in a single’s life”, in keeping with analysis performed by Harvard College.

Particular sweets, together with baklava and sugar-coated almonds, are additionally believed to deliver success and are shared through the celebration. Different dishes embrace fish served with particular rice with inexperienced herbs and spices, symbolising nature in spring.



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