They call it “Norooz” (or “Norouz,” or “Nowruz” or “Noruz”), literally meaning “New Day” in Farsi, and which some say is the most important day on the Iranian calendar.
This year the first day of the Iranian New Year it falls on Sunday, March 20. And in keeping with the vernal equinox, it marks the onset of Spring!
It’s not hard to see how Spring, the season of new life and renewal, would be a fitting setting for each new year’s arrival. And in keeping with long held Iranian tradition, at least seven special items (all beginning with the “s” sound) should grace a household table with their symbolic, invoking presence:
There’s a whole array of additional options that could make for an even fancier table: the Qur’an (the Islamic holy book) or a book of poetry by the beloved Persian poet Hafez, a polished mirror, shiny coins, brightly colored eggs like you might see at Easter, a single goldfish swimming in a bowl.
For a more personalized explanation, watch this three-minute recording of daughter Parisa and her cousin Marjan, from a Norooz past!
Would you like to try to impress an Iranian? Just say “No-rooz Mobarak!” (“A Happy New Year!”), and see their eyes grow wide!
A Happy New Year (Norooz Mobarak!) to all our Iranian family and friends!
Dr. Leslie Ahmadi discovered her intercultural calling in her parents’ home at age four--where between the jazz, the spirituals, and the rock ‘n roll music, she heard folk songs in languages from around the world. Thirty years later she had a doctorate in foreign language and culture education--and her folk song guitar never far away.