Not everyone in Iran will be able to celebrate Nowruz

Not everyone in Iran will be able to celebrate Nowruz

The ancient holiday Nowruz is traditionally celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, India, China, as well as other countries; in Russian regions - Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Dagestan and for more than ten years - in Moscow. However, in Iran this year, not everyone will be able to celebrate Novruz.

As Arab News writes in the article Iranians’ economic woes dampen Nowruz celebrations, Iranians famously say that the New Year would not reach their door if they did not clean their homes before spring’s arrival. Nowruz, or the ancient Persian New Year’s celebration, requires a deep household clean, new clothes and for the family to prepare colorful pastries and nuts, tea and fruits to serve visitors. It is no secret that, this particular year, many Iranian families are suffering from financial hardship.

Iran has the world’s most famous pistachios and is one of the biggest exporters of the nut, but today they are considered a luxury good that even middle-class families cannot afford. They used to be an extremely popular “must-have” delicacy for Nowruz. However, everything is extremely expensive for Iranians as the New Year of 1398, which begins on March 21 on the Gregorian calendar, approaches. Many are so frustrated that all they can hope and pray for is that the situation won’t be so bad next year.

With no guarantee that US President Donald Trump will give another exemption to the limited number of Iranian oil customers, the financial crisis could get worse straight after the public holidays. Such concerns make millions of Iranians hesitant about spending what little savings they have on the New Year celebrations, as the political and financial climate doesn’t promise them positive change.

The hardships this Nowruz are a reminder of the war with Iraq back in the 1980s, when the regime declared a national emergency and public expectations were thus reduced to match the circumstances. There was a shortage of everything, from school stationery to soap and shampoos all the way to beef, milk, bread and even fuel. The distribution of bread was limited to just a few pieces for each person, so a couple of family members needed to stay in line in order to be able to buy enough for the household. Today, without war, the people of this beautiful nation, which is considered one of the richest in the world with its huge reserves of oil and gas, do not know why they have to face such economic hardship. Economic disaster, combined with an oppressive ruling regime that presses the people politically and ideologically, makes life so difficult for most Iranians that their best alternative is to emigrate. Iranians deserve to live a comfortable and peaceful life. Despite all of the frustration and sorrow, the people truly believe that cruelty will not persist forever.

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