What Is Nowruz?
The Persian New Year is called Nowruz or Eid Norooz. In Iran, the beginning of the year is celebrated when winter changes into spring. Actually, international day of Nowruz is not only celebrated in Iran. It is celebrated in many countries all around the world. It is one of the most ancient traditions in the history.
”Now” is a Persian word for new and ”Ruz” for day which makes Nowruz literary meaning new day. In other words, the first day (Nowruz day) of the new year.
When is Persian New Year?
The exact day, hour and minute that the sun crosses the equator (about march 21) is the moment that family and friends gather around “Haft Seen” to start the new year in the presence of their loved ones.
Nowruz Time and Date: 21 March 2019
Persian spring starts with a chance of renewal for everyone. Persians consider Nowruz celebration as a symbol of rebirth.
Everything That Happens Before Nowruz Festival
About three weeks before the every Nowruz. The traditional act of Khane Tekani (literally meaning shaking the house) takes place. During spring cleaning Persians clean every corner of the house. As we all know, cleaning the house might not be a big deal. But it is actually for the sake of having a completely fresh start. Iranians start the New Year not only with a clean and reorganized house but also with a clear mindset. Buying new clothes is also a similar act that is done before Nowruz.
On the last Wednesday of the Iranian new year, to mark the end of the year and hope for a bright new year. Crowds of people sing and dance until the midnight under the lightened streets and squares of Iran to celebrate the Last Wednesday of the year. Did you know that there used to be a tradition like Treat or Trick on Chaharshanbeh Suri?
Nowruz table decoration
Nowruz haft seen (seven “s”) is a table with seven significant items set on top of it. Setting this table is one of the main customs of Nowruz.
Here is list of each item with its haft seen meaning:
- For rebirth and renewal: Sabzeh (Some kind of sprout; wheat, barley, mung bean or lentil grown in a dish)
- For beauty, love: Senjed (Dried fruit, a sweet fruit from a lotus tree)
- For health: Sib(Apples)
- For medicine and taking care of oneself: Seer(Garlic)
- For wealth and fertility: Samanu (A sweet pudding)
- For the patience and wisdom that comes with aging: Serkeh (Vinegar)
- For the sunrise of a new day: Sumac (A Persian spice made from crushed sour red berries)
Other Symbolic Items On Nowruz Table
- Persian New Year table, depending on the traditions of each family, could have:
- the holy book of Islam, Qur’an
- a mirror to symbolize the reflection of the recent year
- a bowl of goldfishes as a symbol of new life
- painted eggs to show fertility
- coins for prosperity for the coming year
- special spring flowers called hyacinths
- candles for happiness.
- the Shahnameh, a collection of Persian stories and myths of kings and princes written by Ferdosi
- Hafez’s book of poetry. Hafez is the famous national poet and prose narrator known among Persians.
Persian New Year Gifts, Foods and Gatherings
- Nowruz Greetings
One of the main traditions of Nowruz which defines the whole lifestyle of Iranians is the act of Eid didani. Eid didani (visiting relatives) happens mainly throughout holidays. Families invite other families over to their house. They welcome the guests with all kinds of sweets, nuts and seasonal drinks.
- Holiday Gift-Giving
Gift buying and giving is one of the traditions of Nowruz. Beautiful and mindful gifts are exchanged between family and friends.
- Nowruz Food
The first meal served on new year’s day is Sabzi polo Mahi. Sabzi polo, a special Persian New Year food, is a kind of rice mixed with dried vegetables. Mahi is Farsi/Persian for fish which is seasoned and served with the rice. Also, in some regions of Iran Ash is served as a traditional Nowruz food.
A curse on the 13th day of Nowruz
The first five days are the official Nowruz holiday and the 13th of Farvardin (first month on the Persian calendar) is the last day of Nowruz. Iranians celebrate the last day of Nowruz with a family picnic. They pack up a big picnic for a meal in the great outdoors. Today, this day is also called the nature day. Iranian believe that there is a curse that has been put on the 13th day of Nowrooz. It has been said that, the curse can be broken with spending this day out in the nature with family and friends.
Nowruz Was Recognized by the U.N. in 2009
According to the U.N. Nowruz promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighborliness.
Want to Know How to Say Happy New Year in Farsi?
Happy Nowruz in Farsi: Nowruz Mobarak
Also, here are some of the Nowruz wishes in Farsi
Happy Persian New Year/Happy Iranian New Year: Sal-e Now Mobarak
Why and how we celebrate NOWRUZ