Iranian new year is just around the corner. Nowruz نوروز is the name of Iranian new year which is first day of the Spring. Nowruz has been celebrated in Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan ..
Nowruz is celebration of spring equinox and roots back to ancient religion Zoroastrianism. All Iranian in all over the world celebrate Nowruz, no matter where they are.
In 2010 United nation general Assembly recognised the ‘ International Day of Nowruzروز جهانی نوروز’.
Nowruz means new day and before arrival of Nowruz, Iranian families start Spring cleaning or (khoneh tekoni خونه تکونی) which literally means shaking the house and actually, it looks like shaking the house😂😂, because all family members have to spend days, and nights to clean up everything and spot of the house.
Several days before Nowruz, everywhere is busy on the streets. Vendors sell items which are used for setting up Nowruz table,one of those things we nees is goldfish. You would see men dressed in red with a tambourine in hand, on the streets of Iran. This man is called ‘ Haji Firooz حاجی فیروز’. His face covered in soot. They are singing and dancing on the streets and trying to cheer up people and deliver the news that Nowruz(new year)is in on the way.
Haji firooz حاجی فیروز is assistant of Uncle Nowruz عمو نوروز, which is parallel to the Santa Clause/papa Noel سانتا کلوز / پاپا نوئل. Uncle Nowruz is an old man with white beard who brings good luck to people. According to folklore, uncle Nowruz appears annually at the beginning of Spring with his sidekick, Haji firooz.
One of the beautiful things about Nowruz is Haft seen.For Nowruz, we set a table which is called ‘ Haft Seen هفت سین ’ or seven S’sسین.We decorate our table with seven items that thie name start with letter ‘S’ in Farsi language and each item has symbolic meaning.
These seven items are:
Sabzehسبزه (lentil, wheat or barley growing) is symbol of rebirth
Samanu سمنو (sweet pudding) is symbol of affluence
Sib سیب (apple) is symbol of beauty
Seerسیر (garlic) is symbol of medicine
Serkehسرکه (vinegar) is symbol of age – patience
Sumaq سماق (sumac) is symbol of color of sun rise
Senjed سنجد (sliver berry) is symbol of love
Other items that we add to the Haftseen tables includes: the Holy book قران مجید or a well known poetry book , a mirror آینه, coins سکه, painted eggs تخم مرغ رنگی, lit candles شمع for each member of family, a bowl of water with gold fish ماهی قرمز, sweets, nuts and fruits, and flowers.
Maybe you ask what we eat to celebrate Nowruz?? very delicious question. One of the main dishes that is traditionally served in the evening of the Iranian new year (new year Eve), is herb rice with Salmon fish (Sabzi polo ba mahi سبزی پلو با ماهی ), and Persian version of herb frittata (کوکو سبزی). The second main dish that is originally served in Azerbaijani part of Iran, is called Reshteh poloرشته پلو . Reshteh is a kind of toasted noodles. It is believed by eating reshteh polo in new year eve, you would grab and hold your destiny for the coming year.
Iranians start celebration of Nowruz around 21th March, the time of the spring equinox. It does not matter if it is early morning , mid night, noon or after noon. People dress up new clothes, sit around the Haft seen table and wait for the exact moment of the spring arrival. And then family members hugs each other, kisses and gifts exchange.
Then people start visit their family members or friends and neighbours.
Nowruz celebration lasts 12 days. During this period schools are closed and visiting family members, eating and drinking is main activity. The last day of Nowruz is celebrated on the 13th of Nowruz, which is called: (Seizdah bedar سیزده بدر ) and it marks the end of the Nowruz. This day also is known as Nature’s Day روز طبیعت . As number 13 is a bad luck number, for this reason people leave their houses and spend the day in the countryside. In this day, people throw away the green throw away the greenery in haftseen. Single girls, knotting the greenery which is called sabzeh gereh zadan سبزه گره زدن, and wish to find their husband until next Nowruz 😊. Our another fun in this day is lie of the 13th of Nowruz دروغ سیزده بدر, something like April Fool’s Day.
So as we say in Farsi: Nowruz mobarak = Happy Nowruz نوروز مبارک