Nowruz, or Navroz, is celebrated by hundreds of thousands of people across the world on March 21, but just what does this special day signify? By Sofia Petkar 16th March 2018, ON March 21, hundreds of thousands of people across the world will be welcoming in the New Year and celebrating the first day of spring in a festival called “Nowruz” or “Navroz”. Several countries mark this day as a national holiday. Here’s the lowdown on this exciting traditional celebration. The Haft-Seen arrangement is a focal point of Nowruz celebrations
* * *
Nowruz, or Navroz, is the Persian New Year and the traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. The day is believed to promote peace, solidarity, reconciliation and neighbourliness, and is designed to be filled with good food, new clothes and quality time with loved ones. The festival is observed in Middle Eastern, and Central and South Asian communities. The traditions associated with it date back around 3,500 years ago. Navroz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009 and is celebrated on March 21, the day of the equinox. How do people prepare for Nowruz? In the weeks leading up to the New Year, homes are thoroughly cleaned (much like a spring clean, in essence) and all broken items are repaired or replaced. New clothes are worn and indulgent meals are prepared to be shared with loved ones and friends alike. The day is spent by visiting friends and relatives, exchanging festive greetings, gifts and good wishes. Items on the table represent health, wealth, contentment and wisdom
* * *
What is the Haft-Seen? Haft-Seen is a table-top arrangement of seven symbolic items traditionally displayed to mark the New Year and the first day of spring. The seven items all begin with the letter S - the primary items are: Sabzeh – a wheat plant as a symbol of greenery, nature and exhilaration. Some say it symbolises wealth and love too. Samanu – a sweet pudding made from wheat germ symbolising power and bravery Senjed – dried Persian olives symbolising wisdom Seer – garlic to symbolise stimulation and contentment Seeb – an apple to symbolise health Somāq– sumac berries to symbolise patience and tolerance Serkeh – vinegar symbolises disinfection or cleanliness The table will also include a coin, to represent wealth, a mirror to symbolise light, candles for children and family, and often a religious text. ---Nowruz, or Navroz, is celebrated by hundreds of thousands of people across the world on March 21, but just what does this special day signify? --- ...