A unique Iranian tradition
Persian New Year or Nowruz (literally means “New Days”) is a traditional ancient festival in Iran that celebrates the earth’s birthday. This festival is the greatest celebration not only for all Iranians but also for people living in the broader Persian Culture, such as Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Noruz starts on the first day of spring. The spring equinox starts when the equator plane of Earth passes through the sun’s center, and the new Iranian year starts. The starting time of the new Iranian solar year changes every year due to the time of the spring equinox. Most of the time, Nowruz is equal to the 20th and 21st of March.
Iranian year is the most accurate year in the world. It is arranged in seasons of earth. For example, our first month starts on the first day of the spring season, and our 3rd month ends on the last day of spring. Public holidays in Nowruz are five days, from the 1st to the 4th and 13th of Farvardin (the first Iranian month), but schools and universities close from the 1st to the 13th of Farvardin.
This important national festival is followed by lots of traditions such as Haft-Sin, Khane Tekani (spring cleaning), Giving Eidi, Egg Paintings, visiting families, 13 Bedar, Chaharshanbeh Suri (Red Wednesday), Amu Nowruz, etc.
A sweet childhood memory
When I was a child, every year near Nowruz time, I felt so delighted because of many pleasant reasons. Imagine that your school is going to be closed for at least 14 days, nature will be born again, travel with family is on the way, and you could get lots of Eidi (money) and so on. How amazing could these sweet things influence the delicate spirit of a child?
All of these new things make me look forward to Nowruz. These lovely memorabilia come to my mind quickly and excite me when I start to talk about these unique festivals in my free walking tour. Consequently, most of our tourists start to ask me more about Nowruz and its traditions.
Make it ready for Nowruz!
Before Nowruz, people start to make their Nowruz table (Haft-Sin) and Khane Tekani. Haft-Sin consists of seven elements that start with the “Sin” letter in Persian that sounds like “S.” Any of these elements has a special philosophy in Iranian culture. In our next post, you can be familiar with Haft-Sin. Nowadays, the White House makes a beautiful Haft-Sin duo to respect Iranian communities. Khane Tekani is another tradition that we talked about that in our previous post.
On the first day of Nowruz, when a new year arrives, many families gather in the home of the oldest family member and visit each other. On this day, the host gives Eidi to kids and some adults who are younger than him/her; Eidi has been kept inside holy books like the Quran for blessing. Most of the time, Eidi is money, and it is kept inside a wallet as a sign of bliss for the person who receives it. These family visiting cycles are continued till all the families go to each other homes.
Happy New Year / Nowruz Pirouz