Saadi (1210-1291): “Awaken, the morning Nowruz breeze is showering the garden with flowers.”
Nowruz Mubarak to our colleagues, friends and wider community who are celebrating this weekend, here in Scotland and across the world!
From 09.37am (UK time) on Saturday 20th March, Persians, Afghans, Kurds, Uzbeks, Uyghurs, Tajiks, Azeris, Afghans, Crimean Tatars, Kazakhs, Iranians, Turkmen, and many others across the world will celebrate Nowruz. Nowruz begins at the spring equinox, representing the rebirth of nature. The festivities traditionally continue for thirteen days.
One year ago, Nowruz celebrations were derailed due to the coronavirus pandemic. One year on, people still cannot take to the streets or visit friends and family to celebrate.
This Nowruz marks the year 1400 in the Iranian calendar, and the year 2580 in the Persian Imperial calendar. Nowruz celebrations are an opportunity to process the grief of the past year and look ahead to a new year, a new century and a more hopeful future.
Music and dancing
Sornaye Nowruz celebrating an ancient Nowruz ritual inspired by music from Bakhtiari, Khorasan, Mazandaran, Azarbaijan, Baluchestan, Gilan and Kurdistan.
Aref Ghorbani, Goleh Pamchal, a traditional spring song in Galaki, which farmers in Northern Iran would sing as they work the fields in spring.
Preparing for Nowruz
House cleaning is a big part of the preparations while minstrels known as Haji Firuz sing in the streets to announce the upcoming festivities. On the Wednesday before Nowruz, bonfires are lit to jump over and children gather coins and treats as people visit their neighbours.
On Nowruz, families gather at 7 things, (Haft-seen or Haft-sinn). Tables are set with special traditional Nowruz items which all begin with the sound of the letter “S” — Seeb – apple; Sabze – green grass or Sabzeh – wheat or lentil sprouts; Serke – vinager; Samanoo – a paste made out of wheat; Senjed – a berry native to the region; Sekke – a coin; and Seer – garlic.
The Persian-Scottish community in Glasgow have planned a virtual celebration on Sunday 21st March at 2.30pm.
We spoke with our colleague Reza Karimi, a trustee at Persian-Scottish Community Group in Glasgow.
“Nowruz has been celebrated for more than 2,500 years in various forms by over 300 million people across the world including Persians, Afghans, Kurds and other ethnicities. On the day of Nowruz, there is feasting, visiting family members and friends, and exchanging gifts.
“I truly hope our celebration will bring at least some joy for our community members as we slowly emerge out of the pandemic.”
Thank you to Aref Ghorbani, Elahe Ziai and Reza Karimi.
Image: Mostafa MerajiCommunities
This post was originally published on Scottish Refugee Council.