Nowruz, known as Iranian new year or Persian new year, is a traditional Iranian festival to celebrate the first day of Spring. Nowruz is consisted of two words “Now” (means: New) + “Ruz” (means: Day). The combination comes from this belief that when Winter is over and Spring is going to begin everything is going to be new so they call it Nowruz, A new day. As they believe everything’s going to be fresh and new, they start to clean their houses and go shopping to buy new clothes and furniture.
There isn’t an exact origin for this tradition, some say it belongs to the time when Cyrus attacked Babylonia and others say Zoroaster was the originator of Nowruz.
Nowruz has been the symbol of Iranians union and it has a deep connection with Iran’s roots, rituals and culture. And there are many myths and performances about Nowruz in Iran, some of them are forgotten but some others still have their own place in Iranian traditions.
Nowruz was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Cultural humanity Heritage in 2009. And in 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March International Nowruz Day.
Persian’s prepare themselves with cleaning there houses (Khaneh Tekani), shopping new clothes, eating special foods on the last Wednesday of winter and the first day of new year and celebrate Chaarshanbe Soori.
The cleaning starts in early March, rugs and carpets, curtains, stairs and windows are washed. Old furniture will be repaired or replaced and grand bazaars are full of people who want to buy new stuff for their houses or their “Haft Sin” table.
Everyone in the family should help in sweeping and cleaning, and I have to say I have never seen such a beautiful team work in my life.
The belief behind dust sweeping is that if the year is going to be new, we have to be in harmony with it too. And on the other side, people think if they rub the worldly blackness from their houses, then the mischief and blackness will go away from their hearts.
Shopping is everyone’s favorite thing! People go to shopping centers and bazaars to buy new furniture, new clothes and thing which are needed to complete their “Haft Sin” table.
One of the most important traditions of Nowruz, which is held on the last Wednesday of the last month of the year.
As the sun sets, people turn on the lights and come around fire, they start singing and dancing around the fire and some will jump over the fire while saying a special sentence with the meaning “I’ll give my illnesses and sorrows to the fire and the fire will give me it’s fresh look and bustle”
In some areas they eat “Reshteh polo” on the Chaharshanbe soori night as a tradition food in order to take control of the new year.
There are some other beliefs like” You shouldn’t have any broken or cracked dishes in your house because its bad luck!“
Or “You have to wear clean clothes and be clean on this day or you will spend rest of your year as dirty and messy you were on Chahrshanbe Soori.”
The last day of Nowruz holidays, which is known as sinister day! From a long time ago this day was called as an unlucky day and everyone should go out of their houses and camp in the nature to be secured from the portent of this day.
People go out in jungles, parks and plain fields, eat food, play, sing and dance and make a day of it! Then at late night the go back to their houses and that’s a perfect ending to a perfect holiday.
Haft Sin, is the traditional table of Nowruz consisted of Seven symbols starting with the letter “Sin”:
This is one of the most delicious Iranian foods which is a tradition to be eaten on the first of Farvardin. It is consisted of rice, a special mix of vegetables and fish served with fresh lemon juice and doogh.