Nowrouz: An Iranian gift for global peace

History books say that Iranians have been celebrating and glorifying it for more than 6,300 years. I’m talking about Nowrouz; the Persian New Year festival. In 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized Nowrouz as an international holiday and called on the member states to do their best to enshrine and preserve this invaluable cultural heritage.

Nowrouz is a set of festivities which mark the commencement of new solar year. Every year, on the exact moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator and the astronomical vernal equinox starts, Iranians gather together and celebrate Nowrouz, literally meaning the “New Day.”

Aside from the details of how it is observed, Nowrouz is actually a strong and unbreakable chain that connects several countries with diverse cultures, languages and religions in different parts of the world which all once constituted the civilization of Greater Persia. All the Iranians in four corners of this great land, the Persian-speaking minorities in the U.S., Canada and Europe, the people of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, groups of people in Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Armenia, Albania and Iraq celebrate Nowrouz annually and consider it as one of their main national festivals.

The chained festivities which constitute the complex of Nowrouz begin with Chaharshanbe Suri or the Wednesday Feast. Since 1700 BC, the Zoroastrians of Iran believed in the myth that Wednesday is an ominous day, so in order to wipe out and eliminate the gloominess and darkness of Wednesday, they would light bonfires on the night of the last Tuesday of the year and jump over it, repeating the words “my sickly yellow paleness is yours, your fiery red color is mine.” This phrase meant that the fire should take your pains, sickness, boredom and problems and in turn give you energy, warmth, joviality and blessing. In the ancient belief of the Zoroastrians, fire was a symbol of purity and wholesomeness and that’s why the Wednesday Feast was also known as the Festival of Fire

Nowrūz (Persian: نوروز‎, IPA: [nouˈɾuːz], meaning “[The] New Day”) is the name of the Iranian New Year in Iranian calendars and the corresponding traditional celebrations. Nowruz is also widely referred to as the “Persian New Year”.

Nowruz is celebrated and observed by Iranian peoples and the related cultural continent and has spread in many other parts of the world, including parts of Central Asia, Caucasus, South Asia, Northwestern China, the Crimea and some groups in the Balkans.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. As well as being a Zoroastrianholiday and having significance amongst the Zoroastrian ancestors of modern Iranians, the same time is celebrated in parts of the South Asian sub-continent as the new year. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to observe the rituals.

Originally being a Zoroastrian festival, and the holiest of them all, Nowruz is believed to have been invented by Zoroaster himself, although there is no clear date of origin. Since the Achaemenid era the official year has begun with the New Day when the Sun leaves the zodiac of Pisces and enters the zodiacal sign of Aries, signifying the Spring Equinox.

The Jewish festival of Purim is probably adopted from the Persian New Year. It is also a holy day for Sufis, Ismailis, Alawites, Alevis, and adherents of the Bahá’í Faith.

The UN’s General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of Nowruz, describing it a spring festival of Persian origin which has been celebrated for over 3,000 years. During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations, held between 28 September – 2 October 2009 in Abu Dhabi, Nowrūz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


this story interested me when i saw the UN declared it an international day.. worshiping the sun..its that simple..bahai faith is also closely aligned with the UN..


~ by seeker401 on March 24, 2012.

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