In a few days, on March 21, the Persian new year will start. It is a time that Spring is officially welcomed after the Winter says its farewell.
Nowruz is a traditional festivity, meaning a new day. It is celebrated in many countries mainly in Iran.
Preparations for this pleasant feast are very important and in most cases are strictly followed. It starts with deep cleaning of houses and wardrobes.
That done, a special traditional table is laid that contains seven items that start with the letter S, every item symbolises something related to Spring, such as renewal, beauty, fertility and health.
On the Wednesday before Nowruz, Persians light bonfires and jump over them, it is a tradition that is meant to burn away fear and sickness and ushers in a good new year. On the same night, children dress up and go around the neighbourhood, banging spoons on pots and singing loudly, hoping to get some treats in return.
All the above done, on the first day of Nowruz, families meet over a nice lunch that consists of fish and herb rice, followed by very special sweets that are made only during this time of the year.
Some years ago, ladies in the neighbourhoods would meet and bake these traditional sweets together, however, this no longer happens!
Besides the fact that people have become very busy, there are tens of professional pastry shops that make a living selling the above, especially during this time of the year.
The celebration continues for 13 days, during which families and friends visit each other starting with the eldest members of the community.
On day 13, everyone packs a lunch basket and goes out on a picnic; many other traditions take place on such a day, like young unmarried girls tying knots on the green grass, singing a song that shows their desire to get married and with a child by this time next year.
What it means for Baha’i
For the followers of the Baha’i Faith, the latest religion in the world, Nowruz represents also the end of their fasting month that lasts for 19 days, usually between March 1 to March 20 of every year. Millions of non-Persian Baha’is also celebrate the first day of Nowruz, this marks the first day on the Baha’i Calendar.
Baha’is look forward to this day to start new projects with the hope that it will yield good results, not only for themselves but for fellow human beings .
With all the crises happening around the world, one cannot but hope that human suffering ends soon, it is a matter that is in our hands, we should be in charge of our own destiny, only then the agony will end.
New Year table
A traditional Persian New Year’s dinner includes the creation of the “Haft-Seen,” The table is set with flowers, a bowl of goldfish, a mirror, candles, painted eggs, the Holy Quran, and seven foods that start with the letter “S” or the word “seen,” in the Persian alphabet.
The seven traditional foods at ceremonial table are:
Sabzeh: wheat sprouts growing in a dish, symbolising renewal and growth
Samanu: sweet pudding made from wheat, symbolizing prosperity
Senjed: dried fruit of the lotus tree, symbolising love
Sir: garlic, symbolising health
Sib: apples, symbolising goodness.
Somaq: sumac berries, symbolising sunrise.
Serkeh: vinegar, symbolising tolerance.
The traditional spring bulb flowers at the table, by the way, are of Iranian, and regional origin.