INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NOWRUZ
Spring cleaning has an entirely different meaning when celebrating the International Day of Nowruz. This global holiday is the annual start to a new year in many parts of the world.
Nowruz (pronounced “no-rooz”) translates as “new day” and represents the first day of spring. The celebration falls on the vernal equinox which also aligns with the first day of the Iranian calendar.
The event is filled with ancestral rituals, communal ceremonies and topped off with a special meal shared with neighbors and loved ones. The celebration of Nowruz dates back over 3,000 years in Western Asia and has become widespread all around the world.
Being an annual tradition shared by millions of people, Nowruz represents more than an observance passed through generations. It serves as a reminder that rebirth in nature is an optimistic occurrence.
As winter comes to a halt and life begins anew, Nowruz is the opportunity to synchronize with nature’s surroundings. It’s about strengthening bonds, rekindling friendships and taking on new opportunities.
“Since it signifies a new beginning, Nowruz is also a festival that is filled with hope, as expressed in the gentle and elegant words of the Persian poet Hafez: “Springtime is here again/With the charm of roses./Look at their fresh cheeks/And the bitter plant of sadness/Will be uprooted from your heart”. The fires that are lit at Nowruz in the Iranian countryside, on the northern plains of Iraq and on the beaches of Los Angeles burn up the bad luck and suffering of the previous year and carry the promise of future joy and a more peaceful world.” -Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day of Nowruz
HOW TO OBSERVE
Check to see if any Persian restaurants in your area are celebrating. Iranians love to share their cultural experiences. Use #DayOfNowruz to share on social media.
The United Nations officially recognized the International Day of Norwuz as an international holiday in 2010. The initiative was proposed by numerous countries who share the holiday including Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, India, Iran (the Islamic Republic of), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.