Google Doodle is celebrating Nowruz, a Persian holiday that marks the beginning of spring and the Persian New Year. Nowruz is a holiday that is celebrated across Western and Central Asia, as well as among communities in the Balkans and Caucasus. Here’s what you need to know about this important holiday.
What is Nowruz?
Nowruz, which means “new day,” is a holiday that marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the new year in the Persian calendar. The holiday has been celebrated for over 3,000 years, and it has its roots in ancient Zoroastrianism. Today, it is celebrated by people of many different cultures and religions, including Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Baha’is.
When is Nowruz Celebrated?
Nowruz is celebrated on the spring equinox, which usually falls on March 20th or 21st. However, the holiday celebrations last for thirteen days, ending on the thirteenth day of the new year, which is called Sizdah Bedar.
How is Nowruz Celebrated?
Nowruz is a time for family, friends, and community. People celebrate by visiting each other’s homes, exchanging gifts, and feasting on traditional foods. One of the most important traditions is the setting of a haft-seen table, which is a table set with seven items that begin with the Persian letter “sin.” These items include:
- Sabzeh: sprouted wheat or lentil grass representing rebirth
- Samanu: a sweet pudding made from wheat germ symbolizing affluence
- Senjed: sweet, dried fruit from the lotus tree representing love
- Sir: garlic symbolizing medicine and health
- Sib: apples representing beauty and health
- Somāq: a Persian spice representing sunrise and the warmth of life
- Serkeh: vinegar representing age and patience
Other traditions include jumping over fires, which symbolizes purification, and the throwing of sprouted lentils, which is believed to bring good luck.
Why is Nowruz Important?
Nowruz is an important holiday because it represents a time of renewal and hope. It is a time to reflect on the past year and to look forward to the new year with optimism. It is also a time to celebrate diversity and to honor the rich cultural heritage of the Persian people and other communities that celebrate the holiday.
What is the UN’s Role in Nowruz?
In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly recognized March 21st as International Day of Nowruz, “proclaiming the International Day of Nowruz, to disseminate the message of peace and goodwill, to promote cultural understanding and friendship among peoples and different communities.” The holiday is celebrated in many countries around the world, and it is an opportunity for people of different cultures and backgrounds to come together and celebrate their shared values.
Nowruz is a vibrant and important holiday that is celebrated by millions of people around the world. It represents a time of renewal, hope, and cultural diversity, and it is an opportunity for people of different cultures and backgrounds to come together and celebrate their shared values.