Nowruz is the Iranian New Year
Happy Nowruz to everyone who is going to start new with this festival. Nowruz is the Iranian New Year. It’s the first year in the Iranian calendar – the Solar Hijri Calendar.
Although Nowruz has its roots in Iranian culture, it is now celebrated all over the world in so many countries like Afghanistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and many others.
The day of Nowruz usually falls on March 21st of every year in Gregorian Calendar, which is the first day of Hijri Calendar on the spring equinox.
The festival is considered as ‘rebirth’ which is where people leave behind their past and enter into a new life all over.
The families gather on the Tuesday night before Nowruz which is named Charshanbeh Sorri, they dance the past sins off and leave them to the past.
On the day of Nowruz, the members of the family assemble at the ‘haft-sin’ table – the table of the festival. The table is arranged with 7 symbolic items whose names start with the letter S of the Persian alphabets.
Sabzeh, Samanu, Senjed, Serkeh, Seen, Seer and Somagh are the 7 items that go on to the haft-sin table. Sometimes a mirror, a goldfish, eggs, candles are also included.
Every item placed on the table has a meaning behind it.
• Sabzeh (wheat or barley sprouts grown in a dish) – a symbol of rebirth.
• Samanu (a sweet pudding) – the symbol of power and strength
• Senjed (oleaster) – the symbol of love and passion
• Serkeh (vinegar) – the symbol of patience/tolerance
• Seen (apple) – the symbol of beauty
• Seer (garlic) – the symbol of good health and medicine
• Somagh (sumac) – the sunrise’s symbol
• Sekkeh (coin) – the symbol of material world
• Saat (clock) – the symbol of time and it’s management
• Mirror – symbol of self-reflection
• Candle – symbol of enlightenment
• Book – symbol of knowledge
Nowruz this year is a whole lot different for the Iranian families celebrating today. Iranians having seen so much violence and blood the previous year and still processing the future of the country.
In 2022, on the 14th of September, Mahsa Amini a Kurdish Iranian woman was arrested by the Iranian Guidance Patrol under the crime of not wearing the hijab properly.
She was taken into custody and was said to be beaten by the police, on 16th September 2023,Mahsa Amini was declared dead. A CT scan revealed that Mahsa Amini the death was caused by a fatal head injury.
Mahsa Amini was approached by the guidance patrol because her hair was seen coming on to her face out of the hijab, which made people question.
Women from across the country raised their voice and held hands to put an end to the mandatory hijab.
The world questioned women’s freedom, 90,000 Iranian rebels stood strong seeking a wholesale change.
The Iranian government arrested and executed around 15,000 protestors. 598 people till date are beaten or shot to death.
The protests didn’t end yet, cause justice is not served yet. So this year, for this Nowruz – it is all about a new journey towards freedom and justice.
The Iranian families who lost their near and dear to the cruel government, will be looking at an empty chair at the haft-sin table wondering how this coming year is going to be for the country and it’s people.
The grief that is brought to the families due to the death will survive till the justice is served.
Let’s hope this Nowruz begins peace and prosperity in the families of Iran and across the world.