- Kamran Mofid
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Nowruz—which means “new day”—is an ancient Persian tradition, marking the arrival of spring and the first day of the year in Iran, whose solar calendar begins with the vernal equinox.
Nowruz has been celebrated in Iran and the Persian diaspora for more than 3,000 years. Its roots are as a feast day in Zoroastrianism , a religion practiced in ancient Persia that viewed the arrival of spring as a victory over darkness.
‘Although our oldest knowledge of Nowruz goes back to the Pre-Islamic, Zoroastrian history of Iran, there is no reason to believe that it is a religious celebration. To the same effect, Islamic adaptations into the Nowruz traditions have more to do with the intimate feeling of Nowruz as a traditional festivity than any religious beliefs. It’s timing, at the exact astronomical start of the spring, makes it a natural choice for celebrating a New Year, having similar parallels in other cultures.’
The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Nowruz celebrates the start of the Persian New Year on March 21 every year, which occurs on or around the time of the March equinox.
Norouz is a message of hope, beauty, wisdom, peace, friendship, benevolence, justice for humankind and admiration for nature and an occasion for rethinking, restarting and remaking.