New Year celebrations

New Year celebrations


With the spring, the Persian world celebrates Norouz

A look at Norouz holiday: Persian traditions Happy New Year celebrations Persian


This feast coincides with the first day of spring, when the sun enters the sign of the Aries the Ram the first sign of the zodiac, or more precisely the Spring Equinox that falls between March 20th and 22nd of each year. This festival of pagan origins is as important as New Year's Eve is. Norouz, with its unique Iranian features, has been celebrated for at least 3,000 years and is deeply rooted in the rituals and traditions of Zoroastrians (the religion of ancient Persia before the advent of Islam in the seventh century AD).  Norouz is much more than that. It symbolizes the cultural unity and traditions of more than three millennia, celebrated by more than 300 million people worldwide, in a vast geographical area. The UN also gave it the title of "Peace Festival" and recognized it as International Day. "Norouz" is inscribed by UNESCO on the list of the intangible heritage of humanity.

 Origin Norouz in Persia,

Norouz which translates as ‘New Day’ finds its origins in the Zoroastrian traditions and festivals from over 3,750 years ago. The religion followed the cycle of nature and the term Norouz first appeared to be used in the early Persian Empire.

Although opinions diverge, most researchers agree that the origins of this celebration go back to the ancestral traditions of Persia. The earliest preserved records of the Norouz celebrations date back to the 2nd century AD. J. - C. in Persia. According to the Iranian and Zoroastrian traditions, Norouz corresponds to the day when God created the universe.

Moreover, according to the Shâhnâmeh, this is a great mythical account of the history of the Iranian kings that was written in the 10th century by Ferdowsi, a great Iranian poet. Norouz corresponds to the day of the coronation of the Persian king Djamshid. In tribute to this mythical king who fought for the freedom and peace of his people, it was decided that the feast would be repeated over the years.

 The introduction of Islam (around 650 AD) did not put an end to the tradition of Norouz, while many other celebrations were abandoned. To the contrary, the caliphs themselves participated and declared this holiday. The return of the Persian dynasties only made it even more important.

Preparations and rituals of celebration and traditions:

In Iran, the festival of Norouz is translated by a "great cleaning" which marks the arrival of the spring, the preparations and rituals begin from the month of February. All houses must be clean for the New Year. The tradition also encourages celebrants to buy new clothes that will have to be worn the same day, hyacinths or tulips are prevalent in all houses to highlight the return of the spring season.

On the last Tuesday evening of the solar year (in March), they celebrate the Tchâhâr Shanbeh Soori, or "fiery Wednesday" fires are lit in a row. The custom is to jump over, as Catholics did on St. John's Day. All the families and all the neighbors go out into the street, light fires and jump over them. They say "Zardie man az to, Sorkhie to az man", which means "I give you my color, you give me your color," referring to the power of fire. This belief dates back to the Zoroastrian period in Persia. The Zoroastrians thought that jumping over the fire would enable them to get rid of their diseases and to acquire the life force of fire, a symbol of health and well-being. On the same day, the children disguise themselves and go through the streets tapping pots and pans, ringing the neighbors' doorbells and ask for sweets.


The table of Norouz

The main tradition of Norouz is the layout of the haft sin. These are seven elements whose name begins with the letter "s" or sin of the Persian alphabet. They are placed on a tablecloth on the table and they stay there until the 13th day after the New Year.

They represent the seven creations and the seven immortals protecting the people in Iranian traditions. Each family tries to present the most beautiful table possible because it will be seen by all their visitors during the holidays and represents their taste and their lifestyle. The table is kept until the 13th day after the New Year. The seven elements vary from one region to another:


1- Sabzeh: Since the beginning of March, we have sprouted wheat seeds or lentils which are symbols of rebirth. This is called sabzeh, the most important symbol of Norouz, like the Christmas tree is among Christians.

2- Sir: garlic, symbol of medicine and symbol of peace.

3- Senjed: dried fruit of jujube, symbol of love, the fruit of a tree that provides shade in summer, symbol of shelter and safety.

4- Somâq: sumac berries, symbol of health and sun for its color.

5- Sib: apple, symbol of beauty and health.

6- Serkeh: vinegar, symbol of age and patience, symbol of tasty conservation.

7- Sekkeh: coins, symbol of prosperity and fortune.

There are still other objects such as goldfish, symbol of life; candles, symbol of happiness; eggs, symbol of fertility, the mirrors are placed on the spread with burning candles in front of them as a symbol of fire.

Nowadays, a large number of Iranians place Shahnameh (the epic of kings) of Ferdowsi on their spread as Iran's national pound. They believe that Shahnameh has more Iranian identities and identity spirits, and that he is well suited to this ancient festival.

 Eid didani,' family visits': it is also customary, on the first day of the New Year, to visit grandparents, uncles and aunts. It is generally the youngest who come to visit the older family members, often the opportunity to receive gifts.

 Sizdah bedar, "thirteenth out" On the thirteenth day that is called sizdah bedar means "to spend the thirteenth day outside", the celebrations of Norouz last in all thirteen days. A number based on the ancient Persian beliefs that saw at the end of the twelve constellations forming the cycle of life, a thirteenth incarnating the chaos in which the earth sank. Thus, to avoid this tragedy of the thirteenth time, the thirteenth day of the year must be lived so as to avoid the disorder of the home and bad luck leaving the houses and going to show his attachment to nature.

It is also customary for single girls to tie a bow in grass before leaving to express their wish to get married before the sizdah bedar of the following year.

 The symbols of Norouz and the Iranian New Year, can still be admired today on the walls of Persepolis. They are witnesses of the rebirth and renewal of Nature. These are two animals: the lion and the cow. According to archaeologists, the first is the symbol of heat and sun and the other the symbol of cold, moon and night. These engravings on the walls of the stairs of the palace of Apadana show us the battle between a lion and a cow, in which it seems that it is the lion who will win. The victory of the lion is the emblem of Norouz and the arrival of the New Year. The rest of the engravings include armed troops gathered around the Achaemenid king; they celebrate the end of cold and winter.


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