Navroz is also known as the Parsi new year is celebrated to mark the beginning of the Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on March 21 every year. by followers of Zoroastrianism and various sects of Muslims, both Shias and Sunnis. Now it is celebrated in more than 17 countries, each in their own way. Navroz is known by different names in different places Novruz, Nowruz, Nooruz, Naruz, Nauruz or Nevruz is inscribed in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in India. It is celebrated across different countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The first day of the Iranian calendar falls on March equinox, which is the first day of spring, around 21 March. According to the Iranian scientist,’ Tusi’ Navroz is always on the day on which the sun entered Aries before noon. Navroz is the first day of Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian Solar Calendar.
Origins of Navroz
According to history, Iranian king Jamshid who saves mankind from a winter that destined to kill every living creature. To defeat the killer winter, Jamshid made a throne studded with gems. He had demons raise him above the earth into heaven; then he sat shining like a sun. The world’s creatures gathered and scattered jewels around him and believed that this was the new day(Novruz.)became the king of Iran, he called the day Navroz. Since the day is celebrated as a new year.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Iran was the only country that officially celebrated the Novruz. When the Caucasian and Central Asian countries gained freedom from the Soviets, they also declared Nowruz as a national holiday.
Nowruz was added to the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Of Humanity in 2010. To mark the UN recognition, Iran introduced a postal stamp during the first International Nowruz celebration on Tehran on Saturday, 27 March 2010.
Navroz in Different Countries
In Iran, there is an event is celebrated before the Navroz on the previous evening called Charshanbe Suri On this evening people perform rituals such as jumping over a bonfire and lighting off firecrackers and fireworks. Spoon banging is a tradition observed on Navroz in which people wear costume and masks and visit door to door banging plates with a spoon.
Here Navroj ‘s preparations start a month earlier. The festival is held every Tuesday for four weeks and each Tuesday represents four elements-water, fire, earth, and wind. On the holiday eve, the graves of relatives are visited and tended.
Customs followed on Parsi New Year
People clean their houses before the Novruz and purchase new clothes and put on silver Kushites and caps. They also decorate their house by flowers especially roses and jasmine and make rangoli on doorsteps.
During the Nowruz, people visit their family, friends, relatives, and neighbors. Visitors are offered tea and pastries, cookies fresh and dried fruits and mixed nuts or other snacks.
On the Novruz family members gather around the Haft-sin table and wait for the exact moment to celebrate the new year. Haft- sin tables contain seven foods beginning with letter”S”
- Sabze- Wheat, barley, mung bean or lentils
- Samau- sweet pudding made from wheat germ
- Senjed- Persian olive
- Serke- vinegar
- Sib- apple
- Sir- garlic
- Sumac- berries