Nowruz: The Beginning of Persian New Year

3/19/20242 min read

a cake with fruit on top of a table
a cake with fruit on top of a table

Nowruz: The Persian New Year

20th March marks the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. This vibrant and joyous celebration is observed by millions of people around the world, particularly in Iran and other countries with Persian heritage. Nowruz, which translates to "new day," is a time of renewal, rebirth, and the welcoming of spring.

Celebrations and Traditions

Nowruz is a two-week long festival filled with various customs and traditions. One of the most significant aspects of the celebration is the Haft-Seen table, which is beautifully decorated with seven symbolic items that all begin with the Persian letter "S." These items include:

  • Sabzeh (wheat or lentil sprouts) representing rebirth

  • Samanu (sweet pudding) symbolizing affluence

  • Senjed (dried fruit) representing love

  • Sir (garlic) symbolizing medicine and health

  • Sib (apple) representing beauty and fertility

  • Somaq (sumac) symbolizing the color of sunrise

  • Serkeh (vinegar) representing patience and age

In addition to the Haft-Seen table, families gather to visit loved ones, exchange gifts, and engage in festive activities. It is common to see people wearing new clothes, participating in traditional dances, and enjoying live music performances. The atmosphere is filled with laughter, joy, and a sense of unity as people come together to celebrate the start of a new year.

Delicious Nowruz Cuisine

Nowruz is also a time when families and friends indulge in a variety of mouthwatering dishes. Traditional Persian cuisine plays a central role in the festivities, with several dishes being prepared and shared. Here are some of the main foods enjoyed during Nowruz:

  • Sabzi Polo Mahi: This aromatic dish consists of herbed rice served with grilled fish. It is a staple of the Nowruz feast.

  • Kuku Sabzi: A flavorful herb and vegetable frittata that is often served as an appetizer during Nowruz gatherings.

  • Ash Reshteh: A hearty soup made with beans, lentils, herbs, and noodles. It is believed to bring good fortune for the year ahead.

  • Reshteh Polo: A festive dish made with saffron-infused rice and vermicelli noodles, often served with tender pieces of meat.

  • Sheer Khorma: A delicious dessert made with vermicelli noodles, milk, sugar, and fragrant spices. It is enjoyed as a sweet ending to the Nowruz meal.

The Nowruz feast is a time for families to come together, share delicious food, and create lasting memories. It is a celebration of abundance, togetherness, and the beginning of a prosperous year.

Embracing New Beginnings

Nowruz is not only a time to celebrate the start of a new year, but also an opportunity to reflect on the past and set intentions for the future. It is a time to let go of the old and embrace new beginnings. People often engage in spring cleaning, symbolically clearing out the clutter and making space for positive energy and new opportunities.

As Nowruz approaches, let us embrace the spirit of renewal and look forward to a year filled with joy, prosperity, and love. May this new day bring us all happiness and blessings.