Nowruz is the name of the Iranian New Year also known as Persian New Year. It is celebrated on March 21 every year the first day of the spring and renewal of nature. Nowruz got its origin from Iranian and Zoroastrian but it is celebrated by diverse communities. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, and the Balkans.
It marks the beginning of the spring in the Nothern Hemisphere. The moment the Sun crosses the Celestial Equator and equalize night and day is calculated every year, and people gather together to observe the rituals.
What is Nowruz means?
The first day of the Iranian calendar falls on the March equinox, the first day of spring, around 21 March. Nowruz is the first day of Farvardin the first month of the Iranian Solar Calendar. It is a Persian word that consists of the words now and ruz. Now means ‘new’ and Ruz means ‘day’, so Nowruz means “new day”. The definition of Nowruz given by the Iranian scientist Tusi was the following: “the first day of the official new year was always the day on which the sun entered Aries(the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ<30°) before noon.
It is an event celebrated on the evening of the last Wednesday before Nowruz. It is celebrated by performing rituals such as jumping over bonfire and firing crackers.
In Azerbaijan, the preparation for Novruz begins one month earlier, the festival is held every Tuesday for four weeks before the Novruz. On every Tuesday people celebrate different elements- water, fire, earth, and wind. On the evening of Novruz people visits the grave of their relatives. Spon Banging is a tradition observed on the evening of Charshanbe Suri, people wear disguises and go door to door banging spoons against plates or bowls and receive snacks or treats.
In Iran, the Nowruz holidays last thirteen days. On the 13th day, people go outdoors to enjoy nature or do a picnic. The greenery grown for the Haft-sin setting is thrown away into running water.
History of Navroz On The Basis of The Contemporary Era
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Iran was the only country that officially celebrates the Nowruz. When the Caucasian and Central Asian countries gained independence from the Soviets, they also declared Nowruz as a national holiday. In 2010 Nowruz is added to the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Customs of Nowruz-
Before the celebration of Nowruz people clean their houses and buying clothes to wear for the new year and flowers also. The hyacinth and the tulip are popular.
Parsis decorate their houses with different symbols such as stars, butterflies, birds, and fish on the day of Navroz, they dress in their new clothes and put on gold and silver Kushtis and caps. They also make rangoli on their doorsteps.
People visits to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors. Visitors are offered tea, cookies, pastries, and dried fruits and mixed nuts.
Before the arrival of Nowruz, family members gather around the Haft-sin table and wait for the moment of the celebration. Traditionally the Haft-sin table consists the seven items that begin with the letter”S”.
1. Seeb (apple) that represents health and beauty
2. Seer (garlic) that represents medicine
3. Serkeh (vinegar) that represents age and patience
4. Senjed (Dried fruit) symbolizes love
5. Samanu (sweet pudding) that represents fertility
6. Sabzeh (sprouts) that represents rebirth
7. Sumaq or sumac (berries) that represents prosperity and color of sunrise
In Afghanistan, people prepare Haft Mewa for Nauruz, a mixture of seven different dried fruits and nuts(raisins, olives, pistachios, hazelnuts, prunes, walnut, and almonds) served in syrup.