Nowruz

Also known as: Norouz, Newroz, Nevruz

Nowruz is the Iranian New Year marking the beginning of spring at exact moment of vernal equinox. Once a Zoroastrian festival, Nowruz was a celebration of sun gaining its strength against winter and its darkness and literally means 'New Day'. There are several different myths, explaining the origin of New Year or "Nowruz"! One of which, related to Jamshid, says after Satan (in Farsi Iblis) destroyed the world, Jamshid defeated him and brought prosperity back and rose like a sun, hence the peopled named that day, New Day. It is celebrated for more than 2500 years in Iran. The festival of Nowruz is today celebrated in other countries like Afghanistan and Tajikistan as well.
Iranians celebrate it by arranging 'Haft Sin' meaning placing 7 items starting with letter "S". Each item represents an important symbol of life. Sib (Apple), Sabze (Grass) and Sekke (coin) are the main items that are symbol of health, greenery and wealth. Besides Haft Sin, there are always a Mirror, holy books and pastry on the table. People celebrate by visiting near and dear ones for 12 days. With new clothes worn on the day, people would visit their relatives in their villages and celebrate these days of kindness and hospitality with dancing and singing. A ritual which is still being held partly by family members, friends and neighbors paying short visits to one another. On the 13th day it is believed to be spent outdoors in nature by going on a picnic. On this day which is known as Sizdeh Be-dar, people throw their Sabze away as a symbol of making nature greener!

 

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