Wednesday April 23, 2014
Nowruz, Iranians' Message of Peace and Friendship for the WorldNasrin Pourhamrang for Salem-News.com
Nowruz celebrates the beauties of life and reminds us that we should enjoy these beauties before we lose the chance.
(TEHRAN) - During the final days of the year, the lifestyle of Iranians is quite different from the other days and months of the year. The most remarkable feature of this difference is the immense dynamism and bustle of the people.
Over the final days of the year and prior to the arrival of Persian New Year or Nowruz, people usually have a lot of work to do. They try to complete the unfinished jobs of the passing year, while preparing for family travels and journeys during the New Year vacation.
Some liquidate financial accounts and take care of debts and credits, while replacing outdated home appliances with new ones, purchase new clothing for the family members and cleaning every spot of the house.
All of these ceremonies are observed to welcome the arrival of Nowruz, the Persian New Year dating back more than 7,000 years ago.
Nowruz starts when the sun is observed to be directly over the equator, and the north and south poles of the Earth lie along the solar terminator. The precise moment of vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and heralds the commencement of Nowruz.
Nowruz is the festivity of the rejuvenation of nature and rebirth of the earth; a day when the planet experiences greenness after a long period of snow and coldness. Nowruz is the festivity of the revival of nature and its connection with humankind.
Humankind's realization of the importance of nature leads to preservation of the environment with green ceremonies; however, Iranians who lived in the ancient land of Iran for hundreds of years recognized the value and vitality of nature and adapted all of their daily affairs with the laws of the nature.
The interest of the ancient Iranians in nature was not limited to celebrating Nowruz; Tirgan, Mehregan, Yalda, Khordadgan, Shahrivargan, Abangan, Bahmangan and many other festivals which are registered in Iran's account of culture and civilization have all been glorified in order to maintain the friendly linkage with the nature and enshrine the important elements of nature which are water and fire.
In ancient Iranian customs and culture, contaminating the water was an unforgivable sin. Water was the source of life and joviality and several ceremonies were held to glorify and venerate it.
Several customs are held during Nowruz: spreading the Haft-seen table setting is one of the most important practices. A few hours before the precise moment of vernal equinox and transition of the year, Iranian families set decorative tables and put certain items on it, wearing their new and beautiful clothing, gather around the table setting, praying for the well-being of their family members and friends while asking Almighty God to bless them in the upcoming year.
Once the New Year starts on the exact moment of vernal equinox, they eat from the sweetmeat and comestibles on the Haft-seen table and present gifts to each other. They try to wear the best clothes during the Nowruz days and eat the best edibles. Iranian families go to meet each other during the holiday.
The children go to meet their parents and so do the youngsters concerning the elders. Following a few days, the parents and the elders return the visits of their children and the youngsters and go to their homes. They gather in public, eat fruits, sweetmeat and dried nuts and socialize with each other. During these meetings, people present holiday gifts to each other as a sign of benevolence and blessing in the New Year.
During the Nowruz holidays, people take advantage of the opportunity to travel and go on trips. One can find innumerable tourist magnets in different cities of Iran.
On the 13th day of Nowruz which marks the end of the holidays, people, according to an ancient tradition, go outside the city to spend the whole day with nature. Along with eating delicious and miscellaneous foods on the thirteenth day of Nowruz, they play different games, celebrate the "Sizdah-bedar" feast and gambol jubilantly.
Iranians get prepared for the beginning of their official work after spending two jovial weeks accompanied with eating the most delicious and delightful edibles, visiting the friends and family members, wearing the best and most beautiful clothes and going on various trips.
Nowruz is a messenger of peace, friendship, benevolence for the humankind and admiration for the nature not only for Iranians, but for several nations and tribes who adorn this ancient festivity and celebrate it. Nowruz is an opportunity for rethinking, restarting and remaking.
Nowruz puts before your eyes the beauties of life and reminds us that we should enjoy these beauties before we lose the chance.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has registered Nowruz in its list of intangible cultural heritage and the UN itself has recognized Nowruz as an international holiday and provided the world nations with the opportunity to hear the message of Nowruz, look at its beauties and benefit from its richness.
Nowruz is the spiritual heritage of humankind and the Iranians will be most delighted if the world nations enjoy this heritage and take advantage of it. Nowruz is the message of peace and friendship by the Iranians for the whole world.
(Our special thanks to Nasrin Pourhamrang for sharing this wonderful vision of Iran's Newruz holiday. It is another reminder of how similar this world's societies are, however displaced they may be.)
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