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Photos: Sarbedaran Persian New Year Ritual Dance

Photos by Hossein Esmaeili, ISNA

In the city of Sabzevar in northeastern Iran, an interesting traditional ritual is performed in the last days of the year before the new year (Norouz) arrives. In this ritual known as Sarbedaran, men move in a circle performing various moves with their hands and wooden sticks. This is similar to other rituals performed after harvesting crops when people would pray to God.

Norouz (Nowruz) in Persian means "New day". It is the beginning of the year for the peoples of Iran (Greater Iran, including: Afghanistan, Arran (Republic of Azerbaijan) and Central Asian Republics). It begins precisely with the beginning of spring on vernal equinox (on March 20th this year).

Sabzevar, Iran

Iranian (Persian) New Year 2014-1393 Times
Persian New Year, Nowruz 2014-1293 Times


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