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  • 2/23/2015

Nowruz, 3000-Year-Old Spring Festival of Persian Origin (Part 1)


The United Nations in its Feb. 23, 2010 General Assembly recognized March 21 as International Day of Nowruz to let the New Year festivity of over 300 million people across the globe become officially international.

According to the preamble of the resolution on the International Day of Nowruz, which means new day, member states were asked to register March 21 as the International Day of Nowruz in their official calendars. The UN resolution has described Nowruz as the day of the vernal equinox, which is celebrated for over 3,000 years by more than 300 million people worldwide as the beginning of the new year.

Nowruz marks the beginning of the New Year in Iran and Afghanistan. In addition to Iran, with official and unofficial holidays during Nowruz, it is celebrated as an official holiday in many other countries although Nowruz is not the beginning of the new year in some countries.

Nowruz in Afghanistan coincides with March 21, like the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nowruz is specially and gloriously celebrated in Balkh and its provincial capital city Mazar Sharif for two weeks. Afghans observe other festivals and ceremonies on the occasion of the New Year namely Rose Festival. It is a special festival observed in the first 40 days of the year on the occasion of the growing of the red roses. During these 40 days people from other places take a trip to Mazar Sharif to take part in the festival. Dehqan (Farmer) Festival is another ceremony observed in the first day of the year in the presence of high-ranking state officials. In Afghanistan, people celebrate New Year by Haft Miveh or Seven Fruits instead of “Haft Seen” (or the seven 'S's, meaning seven items starting with the Persian letter S), as observed in Iran. Haft Miveh is something like fruit salad comprising of seven dried fruits (raisins, senjed – the dried fruit of the oleaster tree - pistachio, hazel, apricot halves, walnut, plum).

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:

Philosophy of Nowruz Festival in Ancient Persia (Part 1)

Philosophy of Nowruz Festival in Ancient Persia (Part 2)
Philosophy of Nowruz Festival in Ancient Persia (Part 3)

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