Monday, March 23, 2015

Just Life| Persian New Year 1394

Last Friday, at 3:45 pm was the start of yet another Persian New Year for millions of Iranians around the world. The Persian New Year or (Nowruz) is the most celebrated holiday in Iran. 

The Iranian calendar changes on the first day of Spring and we just entered the year 1394 in the Persian calendar.

Before Iranians can enjoy this celebration, they do spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is anything but fun. As a kid, I hated it since I had to help out my mom to do the spring cleaning for numerous days before the start of our New Year. I am happy to report that I skipped the Spring cleaning this year and I don't even feel guilty about it one bit.

Another celebration before the Persian New Year, is called " Char Shan Be Sori". On the last Tuesday of the year, we get together with family and friends to make bonfires and we jump over them and we chant special songs hoping for a healthy and prosperous year. Fireworks are also a major part of this celebration.

Jumping over the bonfires for Char Shan Be Sori

Before the start of the New Year, we set a very special table called " Haftsin". 

There are some very specific items that are placed on this table year after year. 

We should have at least seven items on this table that starts with letter "C" in Persian.

Here are these items:
  • Sib (Apple)
  • Sir (Garlic)
  • Sekeh (Coins)
  • Sabzeh (Germinated wheat or lentil. They look like grass)
  • Serkeh (Vinegar)
  • Samano (A special sweet paste made from wheat)
  • Sonbol (Hyacinth)
  • Senjed (Fruit from lotus tree)
  •  Saat (Clock)

Each of these items has a special meaning but this blog isn't long enough to explain them all and to be honest I am far from being an expert on this topic.

This is the Haftsin in my house this year.

The Haftsin table should also include a large mirror, candles, a large bowl of water with a few red goldfish and colored eggs.

This is Haftsin at my aunt's house this year.

Depending on your taste, the Haftsin can be as fancy as you want to make it or as simple as you wish. But no matter what, you have got to have it. 

This year, there was even a Nowurz Celebration at the White house hosted by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. It was an honor to have the Persian New Year being recognized by the first lady of United States.

Nowruz is the time that we visit family and friends. In Iran, schools and universities are closed for 13 days and most people go on vacation during this time. 

New Year dinner at my aunt's house this year

On the 13th day of our New Year, Iranians end their New Year celebrations with a good picnic. In Stockton, we all get together in Oak Grove Regional park to have a great picnic with more than 100 other Iranians. 

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha

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