Happy Nowruz to All

Monday, March 27, 2006

NOWRUZ
Nowruz in Farsi means ‘New day’ which celebrates the beginning of the new year.
In the Northern Hemisphere March means the coming of spring. The beginning of spring is on the 21st of March. This is the first day of the new year in Azerbaijan, Iran and Tajikistan.
Traditionally this celebration goes back as far as 15,000 years. At the time of King Jamshid seasons played a vital part. After 3 months of snow and cold of winter, the start of Spring was a great occasion then with nature starting over in green and colorful flowers and animals delivering their young. It was a time of colour and music, and still is.


Nowadays, the Nowruz celebration has been greatly simplified.
A month before the coming of Nowruz, every house gives their home a thorough ‘Spring Cleaning’. Around ten days before Nowruz wheat, barley or other grains are soaked in water, so that the sprouts grow to be 10-15cm in height by Nowruz.
A table is laid with a white cloth. White represents purity. Families put the Holy Quran, a mirror, candles, a bowl of water with live goldfish in it, fruits, colorful painted boiled eggs (similar to ‘Easter Eggs’) and 7 special things with their names starting with ‘S’. The seven articles normally put on the ‘Nowruz Table’ are vinegar (serkeh), sumac (somâgh), apple (sîb), the plate with the green sprouts (sabze), garlic (sîr), sarb (senjed) and some kind of brown halwa made from germinating wheat (samanu). These 7 articles are put in small bowls. This table represents light, warmth, life, love, joy, production, rebirth and nature.
Families usually prefer to spend this special time around elder family members (e.g. grandparents). Members of the family, wearing their new clothes, are dressed in their best. They sit around the Nowruz Table awaiting the announcement of the exact time of the New Year on the radio or TV. When the ‘New Year’ is announced the eldest family member recites parts of the Quran and each person in turn kisses the others and wishes a happy Nowruz. Elders give presents to youngsters.
In the days which come after families go to relatives, friends and neighbors house to also wish them a
‘Happy New Year and Many More to Come’.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

HAPPY NEW YEAR


On the 20th of March, we (me and the family) set off from Tehran. By 5:20 in the morning we were out of the house and going towards Karaj (the town next to Tehran).
Just after we had passed Karaj, our car broke down. The car had a big problem and couldn’t be fixed easily. While waiting there, everyone was tired including my uncle and his family who met us there. We ate breakfast there. We were 3 hours behind schedule and very worried. The Freeway and Roads were busy and we didn’t know if we would get there on time to be around our relatives for the moment of Nowruz. We weren’t able to repair the car until around nine.
We started off in Tehran Province, passed through Zanjan, Ghazvin and Azarbaijan Sharghi Provinces and finished off in Azarbaijan Gharbi Province.
Around an hour before we arrived, it was dark and the sky was full of stars. I could see a million stars shining in the sky.
We arrived in Orumieh at around nine, less than an hour before the announcement of the New Year. Our whole day was spent on the way.
At my grandma’s (father’s mum) house everyone was there, my 4 aunts and 2 uncles, 17 cousins. While we were eating dinner the New Year was announced. Everyone kissed and wished each other a Happy New Year.