Norooz: The Romantic side of Mother Nature.
If you are reading this article on our website, you are already familiar with Iran, its people and the New Year’s celebrations known as Norooz.
It is one of the very rare traditions that have been kept alive amongst Iranians and little has been changed after thousands of years. Like other New Year celebrations around the world, people from all walks of life enthusiastically look forward to it.
However, what makes Norooz an especial one is not a change in date. At its core, the Norooz Festival celebrates the rebirth of nature. This reawakening symbolizes the triumph of good over the evil forces of darkness, which are represented by winter.
Norooz represents much of what Iranian characteristics, history, politics, and religion are all about. For centuries, Persians have applied the Norooz spirit to every dark challenge that has come their way. This spirit has made Norooz far more than just a New Year celebration over the course of history.
It is unknown exactly when Norooz was started but according to some historians, what we have today as Norooz goes back to the Sassanid period. They formed the last great Persian Empire before the advent of Islam. Their celebrations would start ten days prior to the New Year. Bon fires would be set on rooftops at night to indicate to the spirits and the angels that humans were ready to receive them. This was called Chaharshanbeh-Suri (Fireworks Wednesday).
Modern Iranians still do the traditional Norooz spring-cleaning and still celebrate Chaharshanbeh-Suri. Bon fires are made and everyone jumps over the fire on the last Tuesday of the year. This is a purification rite and Iranians believe that by jumping over the fire they will get rid of all their illnesses and misfortunes.
Once the New Year is announced on television or the radio, the younger members of the family will pay respect to the elders by wishing them a Happy New Year and kissing their face and sometimes their hands (a sign of ultimate respect). Relatives kiss and hug, and presents, traditionally cash or coins, are exchanged. Sweets are offered to all to symbolically sweeten their lives for the rest of the year. A small mirror is passed around, rose water is sprinkled into the air and espand, a popular type of incense, is burnt to keep the evil eye away.
The first few days are spent visiting older members of the family, relatives, and friends. Children receive presents; sweets and special meals are consumed.
We hope you come and celebrate the Spring with us, in our opinion it is the most pleasant time to visit Iranian cities and particularly our very own city of Shiraz.
Happy Norooz and we hope to see you soon.
From everyone at Incredible Iran Team