Persian New Year's Haftsin, March 20 2010, BTH pub, Kalskrona
LCDM as its name suggests has got a lot with different cultures, I am sure many in LCDM program are interested in Persian culture and since it is Persian New Year I am writing this post.
The Beginning of Spring
Unlike many other calendars including Gregorian new year, Persian year starts on the first day of spring, the first day is called Nowruz , which literary means new day. The Iranian New Year is the day containing the exact moment of the vernal equinox, although it needs special form of calculation, it usually occurs on 20 or 21 March.
There are records suggesting that the celebration is an ancient festival and was celebrated by the people and royalty during the Achaemenid times (555-330 BC). It was, therefore, a highly auspicious occasion for the ancient Iranian peoples. It is believed that the famous Persepolis complex, or at least the palace of Apadana and the Hundred Columns Hall, were built for the specific purpose of celebrating Nowruz.
Originally it is a Zoroastrian festival and many believe it was invented by Zoroaster himself, the trace of Nowruz is present in all famous religions. According to Britannica, the Jewish festival of Purim, is probably adopted from the Persian New Year.
Nowruz is celebrated in Greater Iran, Caucasus, and Central Asia and by Iranians worldwide. It is a public holiday in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan,Iraqi Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan , Uzbekistan, Kashmir , and Kyrgyzstan . Also the Canadian parliament and the US congress have passed a bill to add Nowruz to these countries national calendars. Watch President Obama’s Nowruz massage , here.
Nowruz associates with some other cultural iconic concepts such as Haft Sin and Hajji Firuz. Iranians celebrate new year for some days and after 13 days from the beginning of spring they go to forests and parks to rejoice the nature’s beauty on that day.
Wish you the best in up coming Persian New year ;-)