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Norouz, glorious Iranian spring festival

By Ali Asghar Pahlavan, Mehr News Agency

On Jamshid as the people jewels streamed, They cried upon him that New Year beamed




On Farvardin Hormuz in this bright New Year

Bodies were freed from pain all hearts from fear


New Year new king the world thus rendered bright

He sat resplendent on the throne in light





Noruz is the most glorious of Iran's national spring festivities and dates back to the beginning of Persian history from time immemorial.  Both foreign and domestic historians admit they do not know precisely when nor how the festival of Noruz emerged in ancient Persia and have expressed divergent opinions concerning the festival's historical background.


Recently however, after extensive scientific research carried out by his team of archaeologists, a prominent Iranian university professor claims that "the Noruz Festival emerged 8,000 years ago" even though his idea is in conflict with views of other historians.


Dr. Fereydoon Joneydi, founder of the Neishabur Cultural Foundation, in an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times said, "I take a different approach towards Noruz. My opinion stems from the dramatic events that have taken place on earth in ancient times and takes into account the emergence of global warming and cooling, as well as earthquakes and the reactivation of the volcano, Mount Damavand."


Dr. Joneydi explains that as we compare these cataclysmic junctures in the history of Iran with Ferdowsi's epic Persian poem Shahnameh and the Zoroastrians' holy book Avesta, astounding facts and figures are revealed.


"We conducted our studies based on geology using the physics of carbon-14 dating techniques and mathematical calculations. As a result, we have come to the conclusion that Noruz has a history of some 7500 to 8000 years, as opposed to opinions the Europeans have expressed concerning Noruz."


"In ancient Persia, the beginning of every month started with the name of Ahura Mazda, which in the Pahlavi language is called 'Ormuzd' and in modern Farsi is known as 'Hormuz.' The first month of the New Year is Hormuz Farvadin or Farvardin and is the start of Jamshidi Noruz," he elaborated.


Dr. Joneydi has a full command of the Pahlavi language.


He further shed light on the subject and added that the end of the Jamshid kingdom in Shahnameh coincides with the invasion of the Babylonians (Biorasb or Zahak) which occurred 7000 years ago.


He said Shahnameh refers to three basic elements: the origin of the solar calendar, the invention of pottery and the beginnings of music. Neither the date of the solar calendar nor of music could be determined but the exact date of the invention of pottery could be traced as he pointed out.


In recent years, mud pottery dating back 10400 years has been discovered in excavations conducted by archaeologists in Ganj-Dareh in Harsin situated in Kermanshah Province. However, the age of the mud pottery and jars is not consistent with other scientific studies.


The emergence of baked pottery traces back to 7500-8000 years and is the best criterion to determine the date of emergence of the solar calendar and music. Since all these elements have been explicitly referred to in Shahnameh, today's Noruz festivities must date back some 8000 years.


The most prominent theme in the emergence of the Noruz festival is the spring equinox, which occurs on the first day of spring.


Another very important question which comes to mind is that if Iranians did not have some kind of time measurement apparatus how could they have determined the exact equality of day and night and thus precisely fix the time of the spring equinox?


"Undoubtedly, our forefathers had some kind of a device for time measurement whose function was similar to a present day watch or a clock.   


The Noruz festival is a celebration of mathematics and astronomy -- the solar calendar--among Iranians and since our ancestors embraced Noruz and embellished it with beautiful flowers, Sabzeh (green sprouts) and sweets, we also deserve to celebrate this special occasion," Dr. Joneydi said.


Today, after the lapse of thousands of years, Iranians from all walks of life enthusiastically celebrate the Noruz festival, irrespective of their language, age, gender, race, ethnicity, or social status.


In essence, the Noruz festival celebrates the rebirth of nature. This reawakening symbolizes the triumph of good over the evil forces of darkness, which is manifested in the cold darkness of winter.


Noruz is the point when the oppressive presence of the bitter cold winter begins to recede and the lively and hopeful spring commences.


This symbolic and romantic image of springtime change has been expressed extensively and eloquently in invaluable works of both contemporary and classical Persian writers and poets, which in recent decades has been widely translated into various other languages as well.

Information about Norouz and events across the globe
Persian New Year 1388

Articles on Norouz:
Norouz is a Celebration of Life

    Norouz : Persian New Year


... Payvand News - 03/19/09 ... --

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