World prepares to celebrate Nowruz

World prepares to celebrate Nowruz

Nowruz is the holiday also known as the Iranian New Year, which is celebrated worldwide by the Iranian and Turkic peoples, along with some other ethno-linguistic groups, as the beginning of the New Year.

Novruz is the holiday of spring, joy, merriment and nature’s renewal. It is surrounded by many rituals and celebrations. 

Vestnik Kavkaza congratulates all people celebrating this spring with the holiday of Novruz and wishes health, happiness, peace, warmth and good luck!

The UN's 64th General Assembly recognized the International Day of Nowruz in 2010 at the suggestion of Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran and the states of Central Asia.

During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations on September 30, 2009, Nowruz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. 

General Assembly recognized 21 March as the International Day of Nowruz on February 24, 2010.

According to tradition, all the members of the family should be at home on the first day of the holiday. People say: 'If you are not at home on the day of the holiday, you will live without a home for seven years'.

One of the special observances of the occasion is the table setting known as Haft Sin, which means the seven S’s in Persian. The table features seven data-x-items all of which start with the letter S in Persian. For example sumakh (a kind of spice), sirke (vinegar), sud (milk), samani (grown wheat), sebzi (fried meat with greens). A mirror with coloured eggs on it and candles should also be on the table. The candle is a symbol of fire and light (keeping a person from harm), the mirror is a symbol of happiness.

Families gather around the table and pray while waiting for the exact moment of the spring equinox. These symbolic data-x-items represent health, prosperity, longevity, reproduction and happiness for the family members throughout the year.

One of the customs of Nowruz is to exchange house visits during which guests are served tea, pastries, nuts and fruits. People also exchange gifts and money to congratulate each other on the advent of the New Year.

Children walk up to houses with cooking pots in hand, bang on those pots with spoons, and not let up until someone comes out and puts something sweet in the pots. 

House cleaning is commonly observed before the arrival of Nowruz. People start preparing for Nowruz with a major spring-cleaning of their house and the purchase of new clothes to wear for the New Year, as well the purchase of flowers. 

A month before the holiday, on Tuesdays people celebrate Su Charshabnasi (water-Tuesday), Odlu Charshanba(fire- Tuesday),Torpag Charshanba (land-Tuesday) and Akhir Charshanba(final or wind- Tuesday). According to the folk belief water in the first Tuesday purifies and stirs, fire in the second Tuesday, land on the third Tuesday and wind in the fourth Tuesday awaken the nature, the trees begin to blossom; all this symbolize spring's coming.

In 2018, the Nowruz celebration of spring equinox and the beginning of new year starts on 20 March at 16:15 UTC.

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