Nowruz – Beginning of Parsi’s New Year
Nowruz means “New Day” – is a holiday marking the arrival of spring and the first day of Iran’s New Year, The solar calendar begins with the vernal equinox. The festival is celebrated now for more than 3000 years. It is celebrated with huge pomp and show among the Zorasatrians, a religion practiced in ancient Persia that is viewed as a day of spring for victory over darkness. It is celebrated across the globe amongst the Persian people.
People perform ritual dances and fill vessels in their homes with water, which is associated with health, in an attempt to banish bad luck. On the last Wednesday before Nowruz, many celebrate Charshanbe Suri, a night in which they jump over a fire or go to doors banging spoons to scare away bad luck. People also visit cemeteries and bring offerings for the dead, whom some believe visit before the spring rite begins.
Households set up tables covered with seven symbolic items they call haft-seen. Haft means “seven” and “seen” is “s” in Farsi, and all of the items start with the letter. These include seed sprouts (usually wheat, oats, and other seeds, which symbolize rebirth), senjed (also known as silverberry or Persian olive, which is thought to spark love), garlic (protection), apple (fertility), sumac (love), vinegar (patience), and samanu, a pudding made of sprouted wheat (affluence). The table also can include a Koran, eggs, mirrors, and poetry.
By Gajera International School, Utran