Tuesday, March 20, 2007
NOROOZ- Year of 2566 (1386)
Happy New year to all Persians and all those celebrating Norooz around the world. I remember when I was living with my parents they made such an effort in order to teach us our Iranian tradition and customs. Mum made 'sabzi polo ba mahi' (rice with fish), which is the traditional food on the day of new year. She would put on 'haft sin', which is a table full of seven symbolic items beginning with 's', which all symbolise something related to health,prosperity,new beginning etc. My dad would get us brand new notes from the bank and give each one of us as the new year started. In Norway we would get at least a day off school in order to celebrate our New Year, which I valued. We would spend the day visiting friends and family and hope for some 'eydy', which is gift given in form of money.
Now that I have lived away from my parents since I was 18, I have not got to celebrate Norooz as I have wanted to. Last year was the only year I had the chance of being with my parents on the day, I flew in to Norway just few hours before the New Year. I think this is the day I would most want to be with my family and start a new year with those I love and appriciate. The good thing about being Iranian is that we get to start fresh twise a year, ones in January and ones in March. so if we have missed on our January new year resolution, we always have got the chance of starting in March. But today I am spending it with some good friends and hopefully getting some 'eydy':)
What is Norooz
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 cloths, painting eggs, family reunion, giving presents, visiting neighbors and friends and celebrating by having a picnic on the 13th day of Spring. Happy Norooz!