Legally Beau Monde

"Hips swaying like mandolins on a gypsy wagon wall"

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And the happiest of New Years to you…

Tonight, at 10:14 p.m. PST, Iranians/Persians around the world celebrate our new year, better known as Noruz. It is our most important celebration (Iranian Jews, Muslims, Armenians, Turks and Zoroastrians alike.) Etymologically speaking, “no” means “new” and “ruz” means “day.” So, literally translated it means, “new day” because Iranians consider the first day of Spring to be the first day of their new year (Noruz occurs exactly on the Spring Equinox.)

The old year ended with the fire festival that takes place the last Wednesday of the year, called Chahaar Shanbeh Soori. One of the most common chants while jumping over fires built on said day is “Sorkhi-e to az man, Zardi-e man az to.” The literal translation is, “your fiery red color is mine and my sickly yellow paleness is yours.” Basically, you’re symbolically burning last year’s sins, weaknesses, bad habits, and misfortunes with the hopes of starting a new and fresh life with the new year.

Sal Tahvil, the official time for the Spring Equinox, is the most important moment, as it is a time for forgiving each other, putting away petty differences and looking forward to building more constructive relationships. The countdown is often followed carefully on the radio or television, as the family gathers around the haft sin. Haft sin (pictured above) is symbolized through the setting of a table that, in addition to gold fish, a mirror, and other items of “philosophical meaning”, has seven items starting with the equivalent of the letter “S” in the persian language (“haft” means 7; “sin” means “S”).

Sizdah Bedar, the outing on the 13th day after the New Year, is the last holiday of Noruz. It is a day filled with relaxation and fun outdoors, usually spent picnicking at a park. Literally translated, “sizdah” means 13 and “bedar” means away or out. Iranians consider 13 to be an unlucky number and so for this reason, they spend the 13th day of the New Year outside the home. This way one hopes to avoid any bad incidents that may occur in the upcoming year.

Now with this brief synopsis of the Persian New Year, I wish you all happiness and health for the upcoming year 1391. Come 10:14 p.m. PST, Hug a Persian…somewhere.

Filed under Persian New Year New Year Nowruz Noruz Haft sin Iranian culture Iran

  1. thegypsymonologues posted this