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Persian New Year!

Since today is Nowruz (also known as Persian New Year), I thought it would be fitting to have a post about it.

On March 20th of 2012, marks the first day of the Persian New Year, the year 1391 in the Persian Calender (usually it was on the 21st of March but it does change a bit every year)

The occasion, called Nowruz in Persian-Speaking countries which translates into 'New Day', is one of the richest parts of the Persian Heritage. The festival is celebrated throughout the Persian Speaking world and Greater Iran. The festival is thought to have originated from the Achaemenid era (some have said it originated as early as 15,000 years ago!)

Here is a good video that primarily explains it, worth a watch (but nevermind the horrible quality!)

Here's a good deal of information about it

The UN's General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of Nowruz, describing it a spring festival of Persian origin which has been celebrated for over 3,000 years
It is principally observed in:

Each Persian family makes a special table filled with all sorts of goods like :

Click the image to open in full size.

As you can see, it includes :
  • sabzeh -
     Wheat Barley
    sprouts growing in a dish - symbolizing rebirth
  • Samanu
    - a sweet pudding made from
    - symbolizing affluence
  • senjed - the dried fruit of the
    tree - symbolizing love
  • sīr -
    - symbolizing medicine
  • sīb -
    - symbolizing beauty and health
  • somaq -
    berries - symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
  • serkeh -
    - symbolizing age and patience.
Other items on the table may include:
  • Sonbol - Hyacinth (plant)
  • Sekkeh -
    - representative of wealth
  • traditional Iranian pastries such as
    , White_Mulberry
    , naan-nokhodchi
  • Aajeel - dried nuts, berries and raisins
  • lit
    (enlightenment and happiness)
  • a
    (symbolizing cleanness and honesty)
  •  Egg_decorating
    , sometimes one for each member of the family (fertility)
  • a bowl of water with
    (life within life, and the sign of Pisces
    is also "very ancient and meaningful" and with Zoroastrian connection. which the sun is leaving). As an essential object of the Nowruz table, this
  •  Rosewater
    , believed to have magical cleansing powers
  • a holy book (e.g., the
    , or Kitáb-i-Aqdas) and/or a poetry book (almost always either the
    or the Divan of
    Besides that, family members visit each other (big family gathering) and traditionally involves spring cleaning as well. In fact, Spring cleaning, or Khouneh Tekouni (literally means 'shaking the house') or 'complete cleaning of the house' is commonly performed before Nowruz. Persians and other Indo-Iranian groups (Kurds, Azarbaijanis and Balochs) start preparing for the Nowruz with a major spring-cleaning of their houses, the purchase of new clothes to wear for the new year and the purchase of flowers.
Well, that's just a somewhat brief introduction, I guess. Eid Nowruz Mubarak!


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