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Nowruz نوروز is the Persian new year celebrated by Persians, Afghans, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, some Hindus, and some other nationalities all around the world. It is the biggest celebration in history for Iran which has a Zoroastrian root. Nowruz translated to English language means “new day”. It usually starts on the twenty-first of March but on some rare occasions it is on the twentieth after the complete rotation of earth around sun. The change of the new year, unlike in the U.S., is not twelve am every year, it is according to the orbit of the Earth around the sun. This year it is on the twentieth which falls on Tuesday, March 20th 2018, 12:15:28 pm ET.
It is special because it is not just a new year, it is the first day of spring. Because it follows the Gregorian calendar, the first day of spring is the first day of the year. It is celebrated for thirteen days unlike the US new year which only lasts one day. The thirteenth day, which is called sizdah bedar/ 13 outing سیزده بدر or nature day, is when everyone spends their time in the outdoors until sunset.
Persians set a haft sin هفت سین which concludes of seven objects most of which start with the letter /s/ in Farsi. They are sabzeh, goldfish, candles, painted eggs, a mirror, coins, a flower called sonbol, garlic, somagh, senjed, an apple, samanu, and the book of Hafez. Iranians/Persians also clean their houses thoroughly or what they call it “shake the house” خانه تکانی and remove all the old stuff or clutter out of the house. Everybody also gets at least one set of new clothes for Nowruz. All the family members gather around the haft sin right at the time when the year changes and then they pray for everybody on Earth to have the best of the health for the year to come.
They bring lots of great food items including ajil آجیل , Persian sweets, and seasonal fruits which one can find everywhere they go for visiting to celebrate Nowruz. The most fun part for kids is getting new money bills called “Eidi” عیدی from their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. There is “Uncle Firuz” or حاجی فیروز who is the equivalent of Santa Claus and spreads happiness wherever he goes with dancing and singing but giving candy and money instead of presents.
Last but not least, Happy Nowruz to all our readers! نوروزتان مبارک