Press Release by the HAND Foundation
Mountain View, CA- Today, the California-based HAND Foundation announced it will be underwriting local Bay Area events, such as Iranian Federated Women’s Club Norooz 2016 event with Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese on Tuesday, March 15th and San Francisco City Hall’s Norooz 1395 celebration hosted by Iranican.com on Friday, March 25th.
In addition, The HAND Foundation will be solely sponsoring a ‘Happy Norooz Persian New Year’ banner on Menlo Park’s Santa Cruz Avenue from March 7-14 and then on Palo Alto’s University Avenue (at Alma Street) March 14-28 to promote and celebrate the Persian New Year.
“Norooz is a very special time for me and my family. It is a chance to welcome Spring and a new start,” said Noosheen Hashemi, co-founder and President of The HAND Foundation. “We are happy to sponsor these events and promote the Norooz with the broader community.” Ms. Heshemi is also executive producing Spelling Bee- A PSA, starring comedian Maz Jobrani, with Mirmont Pictures. The short-film is about the Iranian-American community’s different spellings of Norooz and how using the phonetically correct NOROOZ spelling is easier to learn. The short-film is set to be released on March 13th.
The Persian New Year, or Norooz, coincides with the Vernal Equinox when spring starts in the northern hemisphere. This year, it is expected to happen on Saturday, March 19that 21:32:12 (PST).
On the eve of the last Wednesday of the year, or Chahar Shanbeh Soori, families gather around a fire and jump over the flames hoping for enlightenment and happiness throughout the coming year. At countdown, family members gather around a “Haft Seen,” a table arrangement of seven items all starting with 'S' and each symbolizing a coveted attainment: seeb (apple) for beauty and health, serkeh (vinegar) for old age and patience, seer (garlic) for medicine, senjed (dried oleaster fruit) symbolizing love, samanu (sweet wheat germ) pudding for affluence, sabzeh (bean or grain sprouts) for rebirth and somaagh (sumac) illustrating the red color of sunrise. On the table, there are also eggs for fertility, gold fish for life, mirror for light, candles for warmth, coins for prosperity, sweets for celebration and, so on. It is customary to clean the house, wear new clothes, give gifts to younger family members, pay respect to elders by visiting them, and eat a celebratory meal. Norooz festivities continue for 13 days and conclude with Sizdeh Bedar, where families spend the day in nature and acknowledge the birth of a new year.
About The HAND Foundation:
Since 2003, The HAND Foundation has been an advisory, advocacy and grant-making organization dedicated to building better communities by enabling the growth and advancement of social entrepreneurs and enterprising non-profits.
Branding Our Community: Norooz vs. Nowruz - Iranian-Americans are a nascent diaspora, most of us having immigrated only in the past four decades. We are coming to our own, lifting our heads from the business grindstone and beginning to establish ourselves in other realms of diaspora influence and acceptance such as politics, philanthropy and culture. By doing so, we are promoting our beautiful arts and culture by sharing our rituals and festivals. The most uniting, revered and unanimous of these is Persian New Year or Norooz. -Noosheen Hashemi 02/23/16
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