What is the Persian New Year, 'Nowruz'?

By Updated at 2018-03-21 08:30:24 +0000

Nowruz



Nowruz is the name of the Iranian New Year in Iranian calendars and the corresponding traditional celebrations. Nowruz is also widely referred to as the "Persian New Year".

Nowruz is celebrated and observed by Iranian peoples and the related cultural continent and has spread in many other parts of the world, including parts of Central Asia, Caucasus, South Asia, Northwestern China, the Crimea and some groups in the Balkans.

Originally being a Zoroastrian festival, and the holiest of them all, Nowruz is believed to have been invented by Zoroaster himself, although there is no clear date of origin. Since the Achaemenid era the official year has begun with the New Day when the Sun leaves the zodiac of Pisces and enters the zodiacal sign of Aries, signifying the Spring Equinox.

The term Nowruz in writing, first appeared in Persian records in the 2nd century AD, but it was also an important day during the time of the Achaemenids c. 548–330 BC), where kings from different nations under the Persian empire used to bring gifts to the Emperor, also called King of Kings (Shahanshah), of Persia on Nowruz.

The significance of Nowruz in the Achaemenid empire was such that the great Persian king Cambyses II's appointment as the king of Babylon was legitimized only after his participation in the New Year festival

US First Lady Celebrates Nowruz with Iranian Americans

The First Lady paid homage to the holiday by noting its long history and cultural significance for people around the world.

“We’ve got leaders here from our businesses and our schools, government, entertainment community and more as we celebrate Nowruz,” said the First Lady. “I think it’s so fitting that we are holding this celebration here today because one of my favorite things about the White House about how it is truly the people’s house; a house that reflects the diversity of culture and traditions that make us who we are as a country. And Nowruz is one of those traditions. For more than 3,000 years, families and communities in the Middle East, Asia, and all around the world including here in the United States have celebrated this holiday to mark the renewal of the earth in Spring time."

The UN's General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of Nowruz, describing it a spring festival of Persian origin which has been celebrated for over 3,000 years. During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations, held between 28 September – 2 October 2009 Nowruz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

US First Lady Celebrates Nowruz with Iranian Americans

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