Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Norooz / Nowruz (Persian: نوروز) means “new day”

Norooz, also known as the Persian New Year, is a vibrant and ancient celebration observed by various groups across the world.

·       Origins and Traditions:  

    • Norooz / Nowruz (Persian: نوروز) means “new day”. It is the biggest and oldest holiday in Iran. It takes a month of preparation and two weeks of celebrations. Norooz starts the new year at the exact moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator ending winter and welcoming spring. This year’s spring equinox is on Tuesday, March 19 at 11:06 PM EDT. Norooz has its roots in Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of Persia founded by Zoroaster (a.k.a, Zartoasht). For over 3,000 years, Norooz has been celebrated across Western Asia, Central Asia, the South Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia. It symbolizes renewal, rebirth, and the triumph of light over darkness. 
  • Customs

v Khaneh-takani (House Cleaning): Weeks before Nowruz people clean the farthest corners of their houses and buy new clothes in preparation for the new year, spring, and visiting with friends and family.

v Chaharshanbe Suri: Zoroastrians believed fire is a cleanser and purifier. On the last Wednesday eve of the year people jump over bonfires to cleanse themselves of negativity and darkness, and desiring health and positivity.

v “Haft-Seen” Table Setting: Families prepare a Haft-seen Table, adorned with seven symbolic items, each starting with the Persian letter “S.” These include:

      • Sabzeh (sprouted wheat or lentils), Samanu (sweet pudding), Senjed (dried oleaster fruit), Seer (garlic), Seeb (apple), Somāq (sumac), and Serkeh (vinegar).
  • Visiting Relatives: For the first 12 days of the new year, families visit each other, share meals, and elders give-out “eidi” (presents); typically, from new, unfolded bills to gold coins.
  • Seezdah-bedar (13th day Outing): On the last day of the new year celebration, families fill the day outdoors with food, music, and dancing.

·     Global Celebrations:

    • Norooz is not limited to Iran; it is celebrated by diverse communities worldwide. Some of the countries where Norooz is observed include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
    • While it has become largely secular, Norooz remains a holy day for ZoroastriansBaháʼís, and certain Muslim communities. 

In summary, Norooz is a joyous celebration or rebirth and hope that transcends borders, uniting people in the spirit of renewal and optimism. If you get a chance this weekend, you may check-out Norooz celebration at the Smithsonian Institution. 🌼🌟🎉

Chaharshanbeh Suri


New Year Haft-seen Table Setting


New Year Celebration Around the world


Old painting depicting of Norooz celebration.



Norooz Mubarak (Happy New Year)

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