Nowrūz

“Norouz” is coming!…, originally uploaded by alirezanajafian.

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According to wiki:

Nowrūz (Persian: نوروز, various local pronunciations and spellings) is the traditional Iranian new year holiday celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Albania, Bahrain, Armenia, Georgia, the countries of Central Asia such as Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, as well as among various other Iranian and Turkic peoples in Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, Northwestern China, the Caucasus, the Crimea, and the Balkans.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the Iranian year as well as the beginning of the Bahá’í year.[1] It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (start of spring in northern hemisphere), which usually occurs on the March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed.

As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday, it is also a holy day for adherents of Sufism as well as Bahá’í Faith.[1] In Iran it is also referred to as an Eid festival, although it is not an Islamic feast. Alawites also celebrate Nowruz.[2]

The term Norooz first appeared in Persian records in the second century AD, but it was also an important day during the time of the Achaemenids (c. 648-330 BC), where kings from different nations under the Persian empire used to bring gifts to the emperor (Shahanshah) of Persia on Nowruz.[3]

It’s interesting that festivals pre-dating Christianity use symbols we associate with Easter, such as painted eggs; symbols of birth and renewal. It’s also interesting to note that both Easter and Christmas are tied into astronomical events – the Vernal Equinox and Winter Solstice respectively. Festivals to mark these points in the year have existed for millennia.

 

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