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Nowruz Festival

20 March 2013

Sara Ansari

on 20 March 2013

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Transcript of Nowruz Festival

Sara Ansari
Research Project Analyst
Extended and International Operations
Ferris State University Nowruz Festival Nowruz, is the first day of the Iranian solar year, translated literally as "New Day" in Persian (Farsi) and brings hope, peace and prosperity to the world. The most important activity in the celebration of Nowruz is making the haft-Sin table. Haft is the Persian word for the number seven and Sin is the Persian word for the letter S. Literally, the haft-Sin table means a “table of seven things that start with the letter S’. Meaning of Nowruz Nowruz History Haft-Sin Nowruz is considered the major civil celebration of the year. Coinciding with March 20 or March 21, the first day of the first month of Farvardin, brings about a rebirth of nature on the first day of Spring. Nowruz has been celebrated among people regardless of ethnic background, political views or religion in many countries around the globe such as Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Georgia, Iraq, Tajikistan, Syria ,Armenia and India. Some years later, Nowruz, with its uniquely Iranian characteristics, was officially acknowledged and named "Nowruz" by mythical Persian emperor, Shah Jamshid, from *Achaemenid Dynasty (500 BC) and continued to be celebrated by Cyrus the Great, Cambyses II son of Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, and all other kingdoms after that until recent day. In 2009, Nowruz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Nowruz in UN In 2010 the U.N.’s General Assembly recognized March 21 as the International Day of Nowruz and called on countries worldwide to draw on the holiday’s rich history to promote Nowruz by holding celebrations and introducing the tradition as a representation of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighborliness among peoples and different communities. Haft-Sin items and what they symbolize Additional Items on Table
The traditional herald of the Nowruz season is called Haji Pirooz, or Hadji Firuz. He symbolizes the rebirth of the Sumerian god of sacrifice, Domuzi, who was killed at the end of each year and reborn at the beginning of the New Year. Haji Pirooz sings and dances through the streets with tambourines and trumpets spreading good cheer and the news of the coming New Year. Nowruz lasts twelve days and the thirteenth day (13 Bedar) represents the time of chaos when families put order aside and avoid the bad luck associated with the number thirteen by going outdoors and having picnics and parties. On 13 Bedar, the sabzeh grown for the Haft-Sin spread (which has symbolically collected all the sickness and bad luck) is thrown away into running water to exorcise the evil eyes from the house hold. It is also customary for people to tie the leaves of the sabzeh, prior to discarding it and make their wishes. According to Zaroastrian history, the Lord of Wisdom (Ahura Mazda), residing in the eternal light, created 7 different creations Sky, Water, Earth, Plant, Fire, Animals, & Humans. Since then, many feasts, festivals and rituals were created to pay homage to the seven creations, the holy immortals and Ahura Mazda among which Nowruz is the most important one. To protect his creations, Ahura Mazda also created six holy immortals for each of his creations.
1- Khashtra: The protector of sky;
2- Haurvatat: The protector of all water;
3- Spenta Armaiti: The protector of mother earth;
4- Ameratat: The protector for all plant life.
5- Asha-Vahishta: The protector of fire;
6- Vahu Manah: The protector for all animals;
7- Ahura Mazda himself became the protector of all humans and the holy fire. Since the Achaemenid era, no matter of the religious of the kings in Persia, the official year has begun with the New Day when the sun enters the zodiacal sign of Aries, a holy fire sign, signifying the Spring Equinox (March 20 or March 21st). About 3000 years ago Persian's major religion was Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrians had a festival called "Farvardgan" which lasted ten days, and took place at the end of the solar year. It appears that this was a festival of sorrow and mourning , signifying the end of life. Nowruz Tradition in Iran Additional Items on Table A holy book appropriate to the religion of the table's creator • Sumac (crushed spice of berries): For the sunrise and the spice of life • Senjed (sweet dry fruit of the lotus tree): For love and affection • Serkeh (vinegar): For patience and age • Seeb (apples): For health and beauty • Sir (garlic): For good health • Samanu (wheat pudding): For fertility and the sweetness of life • Sabzeh (sprouted wheat grass): For rebirth and renewal of nature Depending on the tradition of each family, it is customary to place: Mirror to symbolize reflection on the past year and reflection of goodness Candles to gloriously enlighten the table Orange in a bowl of water to symbolize the Earth Bowl of real goldfish to symbolize new life Colored eggs to represent fertility
Special flowers called hyacinths to symbolize spring A poetry book, such as the Shahnameh and the Divan of Hafez On the first day of Nowruz, family members gather around the Haft-Sin table and await the exact moment of the arrival of the spring. Families, friends and neighbours visit each others during the holidays before the 13th day of the spring. (Youngers visit the elders first) Guests are served with pastry, cookies, fresh and dried fruits and special nuts on hand plus tea or syrup. Many Iranians will throw large Nowruz parties in a central location. Special thanks to:
Office of Diversity & Inclusion
Center for Global Studies & Engagement
Office of International Education
Extended & International Operations
Hospitality Management
And all Nowruz Group members Thank You & Happy Nowruz Spring 2013 - Farvardin 1392 The festival of Nowruz, contrary to Farvardgan, signified rebirth, and has become a time of great joy and celebration for Persian people since then and then expanded to people from other countries . *Achaemenian (Hakhamaneshi) created the first major empire in the region and built Persepolis complex in central Iran. Roots of Nowruz Nowruz Tradition in Iran http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nowrooz http://www.iranchamber.com/culture/articles/norooz_iranian_new_year.php http://www.iranchamber.com/culture/articles/norooz_iranian_new_year.php http://www.iranchamber.com/culture/articles/norooz_iranian_new_year.php http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2012/03/12/persian-new-year-welcomes-spring-with-symbolic-traditions-and-treats/ Simpson, J & Curtis, J, (2010), The world of Achaemenid Persia, history, art and society in Iran and the ancient Near East http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21747567 Have you heard of Cyrus Cylinder? Do you know how a Persian monarch inspired Thomas Jefferson in writing the declaration of independence and also others in writing the constitution of United States.
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