Bookmark and Share

Experience the Largest Nowruz Celebration in the USA: March 10 at UCLA


Press Release by Farhang Foundation, Los Angeles

Experience the Largest Nowruz Celebration in the United States
Celebrate the Iranian New Year and The First Day of Spring at the 11th Annual Farhang Foundation Nowruz Celebrations on March 10th 

The Farhang Nowruz Celebrations is a free to all, public, daylong festival located at UCLA, including a colorful festive Spring Walk parade, a large-scale Haft-Sin display (a symbolic and traditional Iranian Tablescape celebrating the spring solstice), traditional dance performances, an Iranian Tea House, children activities, puppet shows, authentic musical performances, and a ticketed concert at Royce Hall by the grande dame of Iranian classical music, Parisa.

LOS ANGELES, CA --The most colorful and lively festival of the year marking the arrival of spring, The Farhang Foundation Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) is back. This event has become the largest Nowruz festival in the United States. The special celebration brings together a variety of programming and excitement for all ages to enjoy.

The daylong festival is free and open to the public for the 11th Annual Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) celebration at UCLA's Dickson Court, taking place on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

Visitors can take part in this festival exploring Iranian culture, one of the oldest in the world, while also embracing the first day of spring-that universal time of renewal and rebirth. Celebrated on the vernal equinox in Iran, Afghanistan, China, the U.S., India, Tajikistan, and Turkey, the New Year, called Nowruz ("new day"), is welcomed with vibrant displays of culture by more than 75 million people around the world. The event is also nonreligious and universal to all by celebrating the arrival of spring. 

Anticipation for the event grows with the inclusion of Farhang Foundation's annual Banner Design Contest.  Farhang Foundation's annual Nowruz Banner Competition began in 2011, and it has become a tradition that preludes Farhang's signature event, returning to UCLA for the third year in a row on March 10, 2019.

The Nowruz Banner Competition reaches out to a global community of artists, illustrators, and graphic designers, enlisting their talents to create and submit original designs that capture the essence of Nowruz.

This year's winning design is awarded to Iranian artist Sharareh Khosravani from Cincinnati, Ohio. Sharareh highlighted hyacinths in her design, often a symbol of rebirth at the Haft Sin table, the centerpiece of Nowruz, a table display in the homes who celebrate the New Year. As Khosravani puts it, hyacinths are the "joy of colors and life." The design is featured on hundreds of large street banners throughout the streets of Los Angeles announcing the arrival of spring and the Farhang Foundation Nowruz festival.

The celebration showcases the same authentic programming as last year as well as a number of new exciting events all over campus. Experience varied musical acts, children's arts & crafts, a colorful Iranian spring walk, a modern take on the traditional Iranian Haft Sin display, Iranian dance, and much more.

Farhang Foundation is honored to announce that this year's headlining concert at Royce Hall will be performed by the grande dame of Iranian classical music, Parisa. Parisa will be accompanied by an acclaimed group of musicians including Pejman Hadadi, Ali Pajooheshgar, Amir Pourjavady and Saeed Kamjoo.

All outdoor activities are free and open to the public without tickets, and will take place in Dickson Court North and South, which are adjacent to each other and to Royce Hall. The Musical Program, inside Royce Hall starring Parisa begins at 6 p.m and is a ticketed event.

Here's the day's robust schedule:
12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
A variety of programming will repeat throughout the day on two stages outdoors on Dickson Court North and South.

Farhang's Annual Nowruz Spring Walk
Dickson Court & Royce Hall Lawn - 3 p.m.

Children and adults alike are invited to join in this year's 5th Annual Spring Walk. Join in on the fun! Wear your favorite traditional or colorful costumes. The parade will proceed through Dickson Court and the adjacent areas.

Djanbazian Dance Company
Dickson Court North Stage

The Djanbazian Dance Company has toured nationally and internationally. For Nowruz, the group will delight audiences with a series of Iranian dances incorporating both traditional and modern themes.

Melody Children's Ensemble
Dickson Court North Stage

The Melody Children's Ensemble led by Vandad Massahzadeh will perform a special Nowruz program by the young group of musicians.

Grand Haft Sin Display
Center of Dickson Court North

In the center of Dickson Court, all can enjoy a Haft Sin display. The stunning exhibit features an eye-catching centerpiece of Nowruz displayed in Iranian households to ring in the New Year. Families gather around a detailed fabric-draped table, laden with items that represent fertility, evolution, rebirth, prosperity, love, health and beauty.

Iranian Tea House
Dickson Court North

Festival goers will experience a Persian style decorated tent. Inside the tent, purchase tea and Persian sweets and snacks to welcome the New Year.

Musicians and Dancers

Throughout the campus area, dancers from Robyn Friend's Firuze Dance Company dressed in Iranian folk costumes and musicians playing traditional instruments will be performing, bringing a happy sound and blur of colorful excitement to the proceedings.

Stilt Walkers

Various Persian mythological and Nowruz character will be walking around the grounds on stilts, greeting guests.

Children's Puppet Show
Dickson Court South

An actress, designer, and puppeteer, Negar Estakhr is best known for her "Kolah Ghermezi" fame, as the show is Iran's most popular children's program, similar to "Sesame Street." She will be debuting a new puppet show specifically created for Farhang's Nowruz in collaboration with her talented daughter Nargol Rashidian.

L.A. Daf Ensemble
Dickson Court North Stage

Daf literally translates as a 'large Middle Eastern frame drum used in popular and classical music.' At the Nowruz festival, experience not one - but an entire group of women play Daf together in traditional outfits as an all female ensemble lead by artist Arezoo Koochakan, and featuring folks songs from all regions of Iran.

Children's Programming
Dickson Court South

There will be a dedicated area for children, with music, arts and crafts, photo-booth, games, tournaments, as well as a storytelling by author Sheila Salamat featuring her celebrated book, NIKO'S NIFTY NOWRUZ.


6 p.m. Exclusive Headlining Musical Program Starring the Grande Dame of Iranian Classical Music, Parisa, at Royce Hall

The day's festivities conclude with a finale closing concert by the grand dame of traditional Iranian music Parisa who will be accompanied by her masterful ensemble of musicians.

"It is such an honor for us at Farhang to be able to collaborate with such a legend of Iranian music at this year's Nowruz celebrations," says Alireza Ardekani, Executive Director of Farhang Foundation. "We have been admirers of the great Parisa for decades, and it is such a delight to finally be able to have her grace the Farhang stage at Royce Hall for this year's celebration of Nowruz." In addition to the Nowruz concert, Parisa has also been invited to teach at the prestigious UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music as part of the brand new Iranian Music Program established by Farhang Foundation. Students at UCLA will have the great privilege to learn from maestra Parisa throughout the winter and spring quarters, as she will be in Los Angeles preparing for her upcoming concert. Tickets to the Parisa concert are $25 and up, and available exclusively through Ticketmaster or in person at the UCLA Central Ticket Office.

UCLA's Royce Hall & Dickson Court are located at 375 Portola Plaza, Los Angeles, CA

Please join us, and Nowruz Shoma Piruz, or Happy New Year!

Farhang Foundation is a nonreligious, nonpolitical and nonprofit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic and cultural activities in Southern California by funding university programs, diverse cultural programs such as the celebrations of Nowruz, Shab-e Yalda as well as musical performances, film screenings and festivals in Southern California. For more info visit

© Copyright 2019 (All Rights Reserved)