Photos by Mojtaba Heidari, Mehr News Agency
Tehran and other Iranian citities are abuzz with excitement in the countdown to the Persian New Year, Noruz 1391 which coincides with Tuesday, March 20, 2012 (Tehran time). People are busy with the last minute ritualistic shopping spree, revival of their homes and hearts as they join hands with their families and friends to welcome the advent of spring.
Related Article: Epistle of Nowruz or Nowruznameh
Iranians knew that the sun has two major cycles. One is that it returns to the first minute of Aries after three hundred and sixty five days and a quarter of a day, but it cannot return on exactly the same day and time because the duration decreases continuously each year. When the Pishdadian King, Jamshid discovered that day, he called it Norouz and held a feast on that day. Other kings and people followed his example afterwards. -translated by Roya Monajem
The arrival of new year also means new clothing, especially for children. One of the other customs of Norouz is visiting family and friends during the new year holidays. People buy Persian nuts and sweets to serve for their guests during the occasion.
Related Article: Norouz: The Ever-lasting Persian Celebration of New Year
In Iran Norouz marks the beginning of the year and symbolizes nature's renewal and rebirth after the passing of winter. It is a time when humans escape their doldrums and renew their ways by engaging in social activities and group efforts in work outside the home in the fields. -Mahbubeh Ela'hee
To wake in harmony, to rise humane: Noruz, the Persian New Year
In conversation with renowned Iranian scholar of Anthroplogy Mohammad Mirshokraei: "Noruz is not incompatible with the principles of any religion. It is an independent tradition that is not in contrast with any race, ethnicity or belief system. This is why throughout the Iranian history; Noruz has been embraced by all linguistic, ethnic and ideological groups who have encountered Iran. They have been, influenced by and, of course, have also influenced Noruz in this encounter."
Photo by Vahid Sohrabi, ISNA
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