Iranians celebrate Persian New Year
Iranians are celebrating Norouz which marks the beginning of the Persian New Year.
Norouz, which means New Day, has been celebrated annually for at least 3,000 years. It is one of the oldest and most cherished festivities in Iran.
The UNESCO has recognized the occasion as an “intangible cultural heritage of Persian origin.”
Spring is considered by many nations as a symbol of rebirth when flowers bloom and nature casts a green spell of fresh vitality.
In Iran and many other countries people welcome spring with the ancient Norouz celebrations which coincides with the astronomical Vernal Equinox Day or the first day of spring.
Norouz is the first of Farvardin, the first month of the Persian calendar which falls on March 21.
Now people in Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan mark the Persian New Year on the same day with various types of festivities such as games, songs and dances.
For Iranians, Norouz is a celebration of renewal and change, a time to visit relatives and friends, and pay respect to senior family members. They prepare to welcome the New Year days before by spring cleaning and buying new clothes.
After celebrating the festival of fire, Iranians start preparing the Haft Seen, a table with seven items starting with the letter ‘S,’ which is set to welcome the Persian New Year.
Apart from the main Haft Seen items, people also put the holy Qur’an in hopes of being blessed by God in the coming year.
Mirror, goldfish, eggs, dried nuts and fruits, candles, coins, hyacinth, and milk are also among the items Iranians include in their Haft Seen.
The whole table is a thanksgiving table for all the good bestowed by God, and symbolizes light, warmth, life, love, joy, production, prosperity, and nature.