‘Nowruz transcends national borders, religious divides and other differences to unite communities with bonds of goodwill. Such common purpose can help humanity rise to this moment in history.’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Photo by IranReview
On Monday (20th March), people across the world gathered for one of the biggest celebrations in the calendar year – Nowruz. Coinciding with the Spring Equinox, this ancestral festivity marks the first day of spring and symbolizes the rebirth of nature. Nowruz, which quite literally translates to ‘new day’ in Farsi (Persian), is the Iranian celebration of the Persian New Year and all things new. On this day, people embrace the heritage of the ancient Persian culture which has survived so many centuries and overcome so many adversities. This holiday is particularly special in promoting values of unity and peace between generations, encouraging cultural diversity and solidarity among communities. Many countries in addition to Iran share the festivities of this grand holiday: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkey just to name a few! In fact, over 300 million people across the globe will take part in Nowruz.
So how is this special day celebrated? Preparations begin before the new year with a spring clean of the house (Khaane Tekaani), and buying lovely new clothes. The day is spent in the warm company of close friends, family and neighbours. Presents are also exchanged, usually from older people to their youngers. Undoubtedly, the key part of the New Year rituals is setting the ‘Haft Seen.’ Iranians gather around the ‘Haft Seen’ (translated as Seven-S’s), which is the traditional table setting consisting of 7 items from Nature beginning with the letter ‘S’ to bring in the new year:
- Sabzeh (lentil or wheat sprouts that grow in a dish) : symbolizing re-birth,
- Samanu (sweet pudding made from wheat) : symbolizing wealth,
- Senjed (dried fruit of Lotus tree): symbolizes love,
- Seer (garlic) : represents heeling,
- Seeb (apple) : symbolizing health and beauty,
- Somaq (sumac berries) : which is sour spice served by kebab represents the sunrise because of its colour,
- Serkeh (vinegar) : symbolizing patience.
Of all the Persian national festivals, the New Year celebrations are indeed one of the most important and most colourful, and can be enjoyed by those from all walks of life. Wear the spirit of Nowruz today by seeing what Iran Sheen has to offer! In fact, did you know that our Bird of Happiness ring symbolises the great Nowruz traditions of happiness and merriment? Rather, if you’re looking for that perfect new piece of clothing to wear on Nowruz, then look no further than our beautiful yellow Bastin shawl. Always handmade, always unique, always stylish. They’ll make a perfect gift or a special treat for yourself! We would like to wish all our customers a wonderful Nowruz, wherever or however you are planning on spending it.
NowRooz Mobarak (Happy Now-Rooz, Happy New Year);
Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak (Happy New Year to you);
Sad Saal be in Saal-ha (Wishing you 100 more Happy New Years).
Written by Runah Begum