It’s Iranian New Year folks! Or Persian New Year, or Nowruz, depending on who you ask. Where I am, we talk about the Western New Year, or Chinese New Year, but we rarely talk about others, which is a shame because Nowruz is really intriguing.
Its origins lie in Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest religions known to man, and as a result these New Year celebrations are 3000 years old and wide spread. People in Central Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, and the Balkans all celebrate this holiday, though many view it as a secular rather than religious holiday. The joy of this New Year is its flexible nature, as atheists, Muslims and Zoroastrians alike come together to celebrate.
Nowruz marks the equinox, the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, the first month in the Iranian calendar.
The party is basically two weeks of banging pots and pans in the street, fire displays and fireworks, gorgeous meals of meat and rice and spice, and family coming together to dance and laugh. The literal definition of Nowruz is “new day”, and the way people come together to celebrate really does inspire that same feeling you get when you watch the sunrise after a cold, dark winter. It’s a time for family, for hope, and for change.
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