Nowruz—which means “new day”—is an ancient Persian tradition, marking the arrival of spring and the first day of the year in Iran, whose solar calendar begins with the vernal equinox.

Nowruz has been celebrated in Iran and the Persian diaspora for more than 3,000 years. Its roots are as a feast day in Zoroastrianism , a religion practiced in ancient Persia that viewed the arrival of spring as a victory over darkness. 

‘Although our oldest knowledge of Nowruz goes back to the Pre-Islamic, Zoroastrian history of Iran, there is no reason to believe that it is a religious celebration.  To the same effect, Islamic adaptations into the Nowruz traditions have more to do with the intimate feeling of Nowruz as a traditional festivity than any religious beliefs.  It’s timing, at the exact astronomical start of the spring, makes it a natural choice for celebrating a New Year, having similar parallels in other cultures.’

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Nowruz celebrates the start of the Persian New Year on March 21 every year, which occurs on or around the time of the March equinox.

 Photo:UNESCO

Norouz is a message of hope, beauty, wisdom, peace, friendship, benevolence, justice for humankind and admiration for nature and an occasion for rethinking, restarting and remaking.

'In my heart you are the mirthful ray

You are the caring, though my companions they

Happy is the world with the Nowruz and with the Eid

You are both my Eid and my Nowruz today

اندر دل من مها دل افروز توئي

ياران هستند ليك دلسوز توئي

شادند جهانيان به نوروز و به عيد

'عيد من و نوروز من امروز توئي

Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rumi جلال‌الدین محمد رومی

Hope Beyond Coronavirus: Hope Nowruz brings in a better tomorrow.

Photo: CORDIS-EU

May this Nowruz, once again, herald a new beginning of hope and optimism to signify a time of spiritual renewal and physical rejuvenation around the world, under the siege of Covid death and destruction, pain, hurt and sorrow.

'The festival of Nowruz unites the individuals and peoples of the 12 countries that together nominated the festival for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity to celebrate values of sharing and harmony.'Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO (2019), on the occasion of the International Day of Nowruz

Nowruz- The seeds of a New Day, Celebration of our Common Humanity

The Sprouting Seeds of Hope and Humanity

 

Photo: shutterstock

‘Nowruz, meaning “new day”, is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. It includes rituals, ceremonies and cultural events, as well as the enjoyment of a special meal with loved ones. New clothes are worn, visits are made to family and friends, and gifts, especially for children, are exchanged.

Celebrated for over 3000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions, it promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighborliness.

As it contributes to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities, Nowruz fits closely with UNESCO’s mandate.

In particular with relation to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Nowruz was inscribed as an element in 2009, and extended in 2016, on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, at the joint initiative of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan…’- International Day of Nowruz-UNESCO

Norouz’s Celebration Table (Haft Seen) represents a symbolic meaning such as rebirth, renewal,

rejuvenation, patience, beauty, health, prosperity, joy and love.-Photo:turmericsaffron.com 

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Iran: The Land of Poetry

Persian Poetry; a Precious Tradition, a Necessity for Life'

The  poetry that can help you lead a better life

‘Poetry is loved, appreciated and practiced by the Persians for many thousands of years. People of Iran live with poetry, breath and dream with poetry in all they do. Almost all of Iranian customs, traditions and way of life include poetry in one way or the other. Be it the presence of a book of Persian poetry, most commonly the Diwan of Hafez or Shahnameh of Ferdowsi or the Masnavi of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi on the Haft-Sin tables that Iranians set for their New Year, or gathering together on Shab-e-Yalda and reading the Poems of Sa’adi and Hafez, or about wondering what to do, what path they should take in life, and more.

Reading Persian poetry aloud, apart from being an enjoyable pastime is believed by many Iranians as like being in an inspirational classroom, in which you can learn about life and human beings, the natural world and the sacred earth, or indeed, what it means to be human, as most of the Persian poetry is highly didactic...’

Given this, it is so wonderful to note that UNESCO has also declared 21st March as The World Poetry Day. This, to my mind, is not surprising that this day and Nowruz are celebrated together on the same day.

Photo:UNESCO

GCGI Celebrates the World Poetry Day

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It is also heartening to note that the Day before Nowruz is celebrated (March 20), has been declared

the International Day of Happiness by the United Nations.

 

Photo: great-images.org

Let's reclaim happiness: March 20 International Day of Happiness

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Happy Nowruz (Eide shoma mobarak): Happy New Year to You

Photo:persiaport.com

We wish you all a very Happy Nowruz. Hope this year will bring you much happiness and well-being, joy, contentment and inner peace. This journey we call life, is too short, too unpredictable and too fragile. Thus, let us come together in the time-honoured tradition of Norouz declaring our love for each other, our love for nature and our kinship for all living things. Happy Nowruz.

Kamran& Annie Mofid

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Learn a bit more about Nowruz:

Photo: BBC

Nowruz: How 300m people celebrate Persian New Year: Watch the Video Here

How to celebrate Persian New Year

This ancient festival is a celebration of springtime—and a brand new year

Eide Shoma Mobarak: Songs of Nowruz for Children

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