Norooz, Persian New Year
Year of 2566 (1386)
In harmony with rebirth of nature, the Persian New Year Celebration, or Norooz, always begins on the first day of spring, March 20th of each year. Norooz ceremonies are symbolic representations of two ancient concepts – the End and Rebirth. About 3000 years ago Persian’s major religion was Zoroastrianism, named in honor of its founder Zoroaster, and arguably the world’s first monotheistic religion. Zoroastrians had a festival called “Farvardgan” which lasted ten days, and took place at the end of the solar year. It appears that this was a festival of sorrow and mourning , signifying the end of life while the festival of Norooz, at the beginning of spring signified rebirth, and was a time of great joy and celebration. Norooz was officially acknowledged and named “Norooz” by mythical Persian emperor, Shah Jamshid, from Achaemenid Dynasty (500 BC). Ashaemenied created the first major empire in the region and built Persepolis complex (Takhte Jamshid) in the city of Shiraz. Norooz in Persian means “New Day” and brings hope, peace and prosperity to the world and has been celebrated among people regardless of ethnic background, political views or religion in many countries around the globe such as Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Georgia, Iraq, Tajikistan, Syria, Armenia and India. Some of the activities during Norooz are Spring cleaning, buying new clothes, painting eggs, family reunion, giving presents, visiting neighbors and friends and celebrating by having a picnic on the 13th day of Spring. Happy Norooz!