My name Saeed. I am from Iran.
This month is RPM’s fifth anniversary. I would like to introduce you to the celebrations of another culture and would love to tell you about how we celebrate in Iran.
Its name is Nowrooz and it starts at the beginning of spring. In fact, it is also the first day of the Iranian year.
I had very good experiences with it and I can remember everything from my childhood up until three years ago. I have been living in the Netherlands for about three years.
We also celebrate Nowrooz in the Netherlands. But in reality, it will never be the same as it was in Iran.
In the following, I will explain to you about Nowrooz.
Nowrooz is the national New Year festivity celebrated in Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and parts of India and Pakistan and the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey and Syria, and throughout Central Asia.
The last Tuesday evening before Nowrooz is the celebration of Chaharshanbeh Soori, the symbolic burning of all that was negative from the previous year while looking forward to a new beginning.
Related customs include jumping over bonfires in the streets while chanting: “Give me your red colour, take my yellow colour.” This symbolises how the fire takes away the yellow of sickness and gives back the red of health and warmth.
Nowrooz is a springtime celebration whose activities symbolise rebirth and the link between humans and nature. The Iranian poet Saadi (1210-1291) wrote: “Awaken, the morning Nowruz breeze is showering the garden with flowers.”
While the two-week celebrations centre on seeing family and friends, travelling, and eating traditional food, Nowruz itself – which is Farsi for New Day.
When is Nowrooz?
It begins at the spring. The moment when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length.
Who celebrates Nowrooz?
It is part of Zoroastrianism, a Persian religion that predates Christianity and Islam to the first millennium BC. Ahuramazda, is the creator of all things good. In Zoroastrianism, fire and water are considered symbols of purity. It was founded by Zoroaster.
How is Nowrooz celebrated?
The arrival of Nowruz is announced by street singers, known as Haji Firooz, who wear colourful outfits and play the tambourine.
The performers blacken their faces like the celebration of Sinterklaas en zwarte piet in Europe. They also give childeren presents or money.
There is also Gashoq zani, which involves children banging spoons on cooking pots and knocking on neighbours’ doors to receive sweets.
This looks exactly like Halloween in the America.
People set up a table for Nowrooz. it calls 7 Sin. Iranian people start to prepare the necessary items and once their Haft-Sin is set, it will remain in their houses until the last day of the new year’s holidays, which lasts 13 days.
Haft-Sin or Haft-seen, is, in fact, the tradition of putting 7 symbolic objects together whose names commence with S.
Each item in Haft-Sin symbolizes a concept in Persian culture.
- Sabzeh is a symbol of rebirth and renewal of
- Samanu represents fertility and the sweetness of
- Senjed is for love and
- Serkeh(vinegar) symbolizes patience and
- Seeb(apple) is a symbol of health and
- Sir(garlic) is for good health
- Somaq (crushed spice of berries) symbolizes the sunrise and the spice of
On the Haft Sin table there is also other things for exemple an mirror that symbolizes the sky and self-reflection. The goldfish and bowl of water represent movement and life. Goldfish is also the sign of the last month in Persian calendar (Esfand) and it turning around the bowl is a sign of turning and changing of the year. the candles bring light to Haft-sin and to life. For fertility, eggs are painted and for wealth people put some coins in their Haft- Sin.
What food do people eat for Nowrooz?
On the first day of Nowrooz, families gather at the home of their oldest family member.
The traditional New Year meal includes sabzi polo mahi (rice mixed with herbs and served with white fish); ash reshteh (a thick green soup with noodles, chickpeas and beans); and kuku sabzi (vegetable frittata).
Pastries include baghlava, toot (mulberry); Shirni (mix of sweets and cookies with pistachio); and ajeel (mix of nuts and dry berries and raisins).
How long does Nowruz last?
The festivities end 13 days after the New Year with Sizdeh Bedar, which can be translated as either “getting rid of 13” (a symbol of bad luck), or “to hit the road”. Also friends and families tell eachother a lie as a prank and after the persone believe it they say ” doorooghe 13 bood”, just like 1 april in Netherlands.
On Sizdeh Bedar, people must go out of home. for example they go to parks and riversides to picnic.Taking with them the sabzeh they had grown for the celebration of Nowrooz in home. There, they throw the sabzeh into the river or the fields, to symbolise giving back to nature.