By Solmaz Sharif
Spring is a special time of year for Persians, as among many other peoples like Kurds, Turks and Parsis from India. It’s the time that the weather gets warmer and the trees bloom. Even if it doesn’t happen right then, you have hope for a soon approaching happiness and beauty. Hope; that magic word! Mix it with an uplifting change in the weather, dazzling rains that don’t irritate you, the blooming trees and flowers and Voilá! You have a recipe for cheerfulness. Am I over-romanticizing it? You’ll get what I’m saying once you start celebrating Spring.
Nowruz is the name of the celebration that happens across Asia on the first day of spring. There are different spellings of the same name based on different accents, but Nowruz is the official and international name announced by UNESCO. You’ll learn more about Nowruz among Persians in this issue of Persian Life, and hopefully you’ll be inspired to celebrate it with us next year.
For my own sake, I, personally, look for an excuse to celebrate life any chance I get. Celebrations make me and the people around me happy! I am a big sucker for Christmas and New Year’s – they help me get through the cold, dark winter. It’s a wonderful time of the year when light and music are everywhere and people treat each other better than on average days. In many ways, it’s similar to Nowruz when there is an excitement in the air and people bustle to welcome the spring. It’s the change in people’s behavior that makes celebrations special.
The good thing about Nowruz is that it’s very ceremonial. There are rituals and symbols that excite you to celebrate among 300 million other people around the world for one universal common reason: rebirth, new start, spring!
We celebrate Holi, Chinese Lunar New Year and Sakura Matsuri and it’s very easy to celebrate Nowruz. Next year, try setting a haft seen table (page …) and remind yourself of the symbolism of each item, make a haft meeva dish (page ….), buy your favorite new piece of clothing and wear it (mine is a yellow floral handbag this year), eat, drink, invite guests over and dance! That’s really it. Wanna go the extra mile? Gift something small but uplifting to kids and your loved ones or plan to catch up with your friends.