Tajiks and Turkic peoples)
India (by Iranis,
Parsis and some Indian Muslims)
Kurds and Turkmens)
Pakistan (by Balochis, Iranis,
Parsis and Pashtuns)
Russia (by Tabasarans, Crimean Tatars, etc.)
Syria (by Kurds)
Turkey (by Azerbaijanis,
Kurds and Yörüks)
National, ethnic, international
New Year holiday
March 19, 20, or 21
Monday 20 March 2017
at 10:29 UTC *
Tuesday 20 March 2018
at 16:15 UTC *
Wednesday 20 March 2019
at 21:58 UTC *
Friday 20 March 2020
at 03:50 UTC *
Norooz, Nawrouz, Newroz, Novruz, Nowrouz, Nowrouz, Nawrouz, Nauryz,
Nooruz, Nowruz, Navruz, Nevruz, Nowruz, Navruz
UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage
Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
Asia and the Pacific
2016 (4th session)
Nowruz (Persian: نوروز Nowruz, [nouˈɾuːz]; literally "new
day") is the name of the Iranian New Year, also known as the
Persian New Year, which is celebrated worldwide by various
ethno-linguistic groups as the beginning of the New Year.
Although having Iranian and religious
been celebrated by people from diverse ethno-linguistic communities.
It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Central
Asia, the Caucasus, the
Black Sea Basin, and the
Balkans. It is a secular holiday
for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different
faiths, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians.
Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox, and marks the beginning of
spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the first day of the first
month (Farvardin) in the Iranian calendar. It usually occurs on
March 21 or the previous or following day, depending on where it is
observed. The moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and
equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year, and families
gather together to observe the rituals.
1.1 Regional variations in pronunciation
1.2 Spelling variations
2 History and origin
2.1 Ancient roots
2.2 Achaemenid period
2.3 Arsacid and Sassanid periods
2.4 After the Muslim conquest
2.5 Contemporary era
3.8 Slavic and Baltic countries
4.1 House cleaning and shopping
4.2 Festival of Charshanbe Suri
4.3 Festivals of Gul-i-Surkh and Dehqān
4.4 Decorative tables
4.4.1 Haft Seen
4.4.2 Haft Mewa
4.5 Traditional heralds
Amu Nowruz and Haji Firuz
4.6 Visiting one another
4.7 Sizdah bedar
4.8.1 Desserts and snacks
8.1 Bahá'í Faith
Twelver Shia faith and Shia Ismaili faith
9 See also
12 External links
Nowruz is a Persian compound word, consisting of the words
now and ruz. Now (Old Persian: nava), which means "new" and descends
from Proto-Indo-European *néwos, is cognate with English new, German
neu, Greek νέος (neos),
Latin novus, Russian новый (novyj),
Sanskrit नव (náva). Ruz (Middle Persian: rōz, rōj;
Avestan: raocah), which means "day" in Modern Persian, and rok, which
means year in some Slavic languages descends from Proto-Iranian
*raučah-, itself deriving from Proto-Indo-European *lewk-. The
original meaning of the word, however, was "light". It is related to
Armenian լույս (luys), English light,
Latin lux, Sanskrit
रुचि (rúci), and Slovenian luč.
Regional variations in pronunciation
The Persian pronunciation differs in the many dialects of the
language. While the eastern dialects have preserved the diphthong nau
(IPA: [næuˈɾoːz]), the western dialects usually pronounce it
with the diphthong now (IPA: [nouˈɾuːz]), and some colloquial
variants (such as the Tehrani accent) pronounce it with a long
monophthong (IPA: [noːˈɾuːz]).
A variety of spelling variations for the word
Nowruz exist in
Random House (unabridged) provides the
Merriam-Webster (2006) recognizes only the spelling "Nauruz" (and a
contestant in the final round of the 2006 Scripps National Spelling
Bee in the United States, Allion Salvador, was disqualified on that
History and origin
Although it is not clear whether Proto-
Indo-Iranians celebrated a
feast as the first day of the calendar, there are indications that
Iranians may have observed the beginning of both autumn and spring,
respectively related to the harvest and the sowing of seeds, for the
celebration of the New Year.
Mary Boyce and Frantz Grenet explain
the traditions for seasonal festivals and comment: "It is possible
that the splendor of the Babylonian festivities at this season led the
Iranians to develop their own spring festival into an established New
Year feast, with the name Navasarda "New Year" (a name which, though
first attested through Middle Persian derivatives, is attributed to
the Achaemenian period)." Since the communal observations of the
ancient Iranians appear in general to have been a seasonal ones, and
related to agriculture, "it is probable that they traditionally held
festivals in both autumn and spring, to mark the major turning points
of the natural year."
Nowruz is partly rooted in the tradition of Iranian religions, such as
Mitraism and Zoroastrianism. In Mitraism, festivals had a deep linkage
with the sun's light. The Iranian festivals such as
equinox), Tirgan, and the eve of Chelle ye Zemestan (winter solstice)
also had an origin in the
Sun god (Surya). Among other ideas,
Zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic religion that emphasizes
broad concepts such as the corresponding work of good and evil in the
world, and the connection of humans to nature.
were dominant for much of the history of ancient Iran. In
Zoroastrianism, the seven most important
Zoroastrian festivals are the
six Gahambar festivals and Nowruz, which occurs at the spring equinox.
According to Mary Boyce, "It seems a reasonable surmise that
Nowruz, the holiest of them all, with deep doctrinal significance, was
Zoroaster himself"; although there is no clear date of
origin. Between sunset on the day of the sixth Gahambar and
sunrise of Nowruz,
Hamaspathmaedaya (later known, in its extended
form, as Frawardinegan; and today known as Farvardigan) was
celebrated. This and the
Gahambars are the only festivals named in the
surviving text of the Avesta.
The 10th-century scholar Biruni, in his work Kitab al-Tafhim li Awa'il
Sina'at al-Tanjim, provides a description of the calendars of various
nations. Besides the Iranian calendar, various festivals of Greeks,
Jews, Arabs, Sabians, and other nations are mentioned in the book. In
the section on the Iranian calendar, he mentions Nowruz, Sadeh,
Tirgan, Mehrgan, the six Gahambars, Farvardigan, Bahmanja, Esfand
Armaz and several other festivals. According to him, "It is the belief
of the Iranians that
Nowruz marks the first day when the universe
started its motion." The Persian historian Gardizi, in his work
titled Zayn al-Akhbār, under the section of the Zoroastrians
Nowruz (among other festivals) and specifically
points out that
Zoroaster highly emphasized the celebration of Nowruz
A bas-relief at the Apadana, Persepolis, depicting
their famous wine to the king.
It has been suggested that the famous
Persepolis complex, or at least
the palace of
Apadana and the Hundred Columns Hall, were built for the
specific purpose of celebrating a feast related to Nowruz. Although
there may be no mention of the term
Nowruz in recorded Achaemenid
inscriptions, there is a detailed account by
Xenophon of a Nowruz
celebration taking place in
Persepolis and the continuity of this
festival in the Achaemenid tradition. It was an important day
during the time of the Achaemenids (c. 550–330 BCE), where kings
from different nations under the
Achaemenid Empire used to bring gifts
King of Kings
King of Kings of Iran. The significance of the ceremony in the
Achaemenid Empire was such that King Cambyses II's appointment as the
Babylon was legitimized only after his participation in the
referred annual Achaemenid festival. It was, therefore, a highly
auspicious occasion for the ancient Iranian peoples.
In 539 BC, the Jews came under Iranian rule, thus exposing both groups
to each other's customs. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica,
the story of
Purim as told in the
Book of Esther
Book of Esther is adapted from an
Iranian novella about the shrewdness of harem queens, suggesting that
Purim may be a transformation of the Iranian New Year. A specific
novella is not identified and
Encyclopædia Britannica itself notes
that "no Jewish texts of this genre from the Persian period are
extant, so these new elements can be recognized only inferentially".
Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics
Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics notes that the
is based on a lunar calendar, while
Nowruz occurs at the spring
equinox (solar calendar). The two holidays are therefore celebrated on
different dates but within a few weeks of each other, depending on the
year. Given their temporal associations, it is possible that the Jews
and Iranians of the time may have shared or adopted similar customs
for these holidays.
Arsacid and Sassanid periods
Nowruz was the holiday of Arsacid dynastic empires who ruled
BCE–224 CE) and the other areas ruled by the Arsacid dynasties
Parthia (such as the Arsacid dynasties of
Iberia). There are specific references to the celebration of Nowruz
during the reign of
Vologases I (51–78 CE), but these include no
Sassanids established their power in Western Asia
around 300 CE, Parthians celebrated
Nowruz in autumn, and the first of
Farvardin began at the autumn equinox. During the reign of the
Parthian dynasty, the spring festival was Mehrgan, a
Iranian festival celebrated in honor of Mithra.
Extensive records on the celebration of
Nowruz appear following the
accession of Ardashir I, the founder of the
Sasanian Empire (224–651
CE). Under the Sassanid emperors,
Nowruz was celebrated as the most
important day of the year. Most royal traditions of Nowruz, such as
royal audiences with the public, cash gifts, and the pardoning of
prisoners, were established during the Sassanid era and persisted
unchanged until modern times.
After the Muslim conquest
Nowruz, along with
Sadeh (celebrated in mid-winter), survived in
society after the Muslim conquest of
Iran in 650 CE. Other
celebrations such the
Mehrgan were eventually side-lined
or were only followed by the
Zoroastrians who carried them. It was
adopted as the main royal holiday during the
In the book Nowruznama ("Book of the New Year", which is attributed to
Omar Khayyam, a well known Persian poet and mathematician), a
vivid description of the celebration in the courts of the kings of
Iran is provided: "From the era of
Kai Khosrow till the days of
Yazdegard, last of the pre-Islamic kings of Iran, the royal custom was
thus: on the first day of the New Year, Now Ruz, the king's first
visitor was the High
Mobad of the Zoroastrians, who brought with him
as gifts a golden goblet full of wine, a ring, some gold coins, a
fistful of green sprigs of wheat, a sword, and a bow. In the language
of Iran, he would then glorify God and praise the monarch. This was
the address of the High
Mobad to the king: "O Majesty, on this feast
of the equinox, first day of the first month of the year, seeing that
thou hast freely chosen God and the faith of the ancient ones; may
Sraosha, the angel-messenger, grant thee wisdom and insight and
sagacity in thy affairs. Live long in praise, be happy and fortunate
upon thy golden throne, drink immortality from the Cup of Jamshid; and
keep in solemn trust the customs of our ancestors, their noble
aspirations, fair gestures and the exercise of justice and
righteousness. May thy soul flourish; may thy youth be as the
new-grown grain; may thy horse be puissant, victorious; thy sword
bright and deadly against foes; thy hawk swift against its prey; thy
every act straight as the arrow's shaft. Go forth from thy rich
throne, conquer new lands. Honor the craftsman and the sage in equal
degree; disdain the acquisition of wealth. May thy house prosper and
thy life be long!"
Following the demise of the caliphate and the subsequent re-emergence
of Iranian dynasties such as the
Samanids and Buyids,
elevated to an even more important event. The
Buyids revived the
ancient traditions of Sassanian times and restored many smaller
celebrations that had been eliminated by the caliphate. According to
the Syrian historian Yaqut al-Hamawi, the Iranian
ʿAżod-od-Dawla (r. 949-83) customarily welcomed
Nowruz in a majestic
hall, wherein servants had placed gold and silver plates and vases
full of fruit and colorful flowers. The King would sit on the
royal throne (masnad), and the court astronomer came forward, kissed
the ground, and congratulated him on the arrival of the New Year.
The king would then summon musicians and singers, and invited his boon
companions. They would gather in their assigned places and enjoy a
great festive occasion.
Even the Turkic and
Mongol invaders did not attempt to abolish Nowruz
in favor of any other celebration. Thus,
Nowruz remained as the main
celebration in Iranian lands by both the officials and the people.
Shah Abbas II and the courtiers celebrating
Safavid painting depecting a
Charshanbe Suri celebration.
A 16th-century painting of
Tahmasp I and
Humayun celebrating Nowruz.
Sultan Husayn and the courtiers celebrating Nowruz.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union,
Iran was the only country
that officially observed the ceremonies of Nowruz. When the Caucasian
and Central Asian countries gained independence from the Soviets, they
Nowruz as a national holiday.
The UN's General Assembly recognized the International Day of Nowruz
in 2010, describing it as a spring festival of Iranian 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. In response to the UN recognition, Iran
unveiled a postage stamp. The stamp was made public in the presence of
the Iranian President during the first International Nowruz
Tehran on Saturday, 27 March 2010.
The second International
Nowruz Celebrations were also held in Tehran
in 2011. The 3rd International
Nowruz Celebrations were held in
Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on March 25, 2012 with Tajik President and his
Iranian and Afghan counterparts in attendance. The next international
ceremonies to celebrate
Nowruz were scheduled to be hosted by
Haft Sin: Households decorate a table with seven items that
represent the new season which begin with the Persian letter sin (s).
The items include:
Seeb (apple), represents beauty
Seer (garlic), represents good health
Serkeh (vinegar), represents patience
Sonbol (hyacinth), represents spring
Samanu (sweet pudding), represents fertility
Sabzeh (sprouts), represents rebirth
Sekeh (coins), represents prosperity
Other items beginning with "s" as well as foods are also often used
for Haft Sin. A live goldfish and decorated eggs are included in
Iranian-American households. The Haft Sin's origins are not
clear. The practice been popularized over the past 100 years
through the media.
The festival of
Nowruz is celebrated by many groups of people in the
Black Sea basin, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Western Asia, central and
southern Asia, and by Iranians worldwide.
Countries that have
Nowruz as a public holiday include:
Afghanistan (21 March)
Albania (22 March)
Azerbaijan (20 March to 26 March, total of seven days)
Iran (20 March to 24 March, total of five days in general and total
of 14 days for schools and universities)
Iraq (de jure in Iraqi Kurdistan, de facto national) (21
Kazakhstan (21 March to 24 March, total of four days)
Kosovo (21 March)
Kyrgyzstan (21 March)
Mongolia (22 March, regional state holiday only)
Tajikistan (20 March to 23 March, total of four days)
Turkmenistan (21 March to 22 March, total of two days)
Uzbekistan (21 March)
The Parliament of Canada, on 30 March 2009, by unanimous consent,
passed a bill to add
Nowruz to the national calendar of
Nowruz is celebrated by
Kurdish people in Iraq and Turkey,
as well as by the Iranis and
Parsis in the
Indian subcontinent and
It is also taken place by Iranian communities in several regions in
Europe and the Americas, including Los Angeles, Toronto,
London. But because
Los Angeles is prone to devastating fires,
there are very strict fire codes in the city. No fires are allowed
even on one's own property. Usually, Iranians living in Southern
California go to the beaches to celebrate the event where it is
permissible to build fires. On 15 March 2010, the House of
Representatives of the United States passed the
(H.Res. 267), by a 384–2 vote, "Recognizing the cultural and
historical significance of Nowruz, ... ."
Tajik girls celebrating Navruz in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Nawrız in Kazakhstan.
Nawrız in Tekeli, 2013.
Traditional costume for Nawrız in Kazakhstan.
Traditional dancing during a
Nowruz festival in Paris.
Nowruz marks the beginning of the
New Year in Iran's official
calendar, the Solar Hejri calendar. The present-day calendar system
was first enacted by the Iranian Parliament on March 31, 1925.
Nowruz celebrations last for two weeks, before which a
fire festival (Chaharshanbe Suri) is also celebrated, and include
four official public holidays from the first to the fourth day of
Farvardin, the first month of the
Iranian calendar (usually coincided
March 21 to 24).
Following the 1979 Revolution, some radical elements from the Islamic
government attempted to suppress Nowruz, but failed to do so.
Nowruz a pagan holiday and a distraction from Islamic
Nowruz has been politicized, and political leaders have
been making annual
Nowruz speeches for years.
Greenery shop for
Haft Seen in Iran.
Haft Seen in Tehran's Tupkhane Square, 2013.
Nowruz at a mall in Tehran.
Traditional setting for
Nowruz at a mall in Tehran.
Haft Seen table in a hotel in Tehran.
Amu Nowruz resting in a sidewalk in Tehran.
Painting huge eggs for
Nowruz in Tehran.
Nowruz next to the
Tomb of Cyrus
Tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae.
Nowruz in Palangan.
Nowruz in Mariwan.
An Iranian diasporan
Nowruz concert at the Oberhausen Arena, Germany.
Main article: Novruz in Azerbaijan
After Iran, the Republic of
Azerbaijan hosts the greatest number of
public holidays related to Nowruz, with a total of seven days.
In Azerbaijan, the holiday goes on for several days and ends with
festive public dancing and other entertainment of folk bands, as well
as the contests of national sports. In rural areas, crop holidays are
Novruz on an Azerbaijani stamp.
Azerbaijani youth celebrating Novruz.
Novruz in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Novruz festival in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Folk dancers in Baku, during the Novruz celebrations.
The Azeri diaspora has communal associations that organize Nowruz
celebrations in the US and Canada and in Israel
Nowruz in Afghanistan
Nauruz is celebrated widely in Afghanistan. Also known as the Farmer's
Day, the observances usually last two weeks, culminating on the first
day of the Afghan New Year, on March 21. During the Taliban rule
(1996–2001), Nauruz was banned and considered "an ancient pagan
holiday centered on fire worship".
Since the extinction during the 19th century,
Nowruz is not celebrated
Armenians and is not a public holiday in Armenia. However, it is
Armenia by tens of thousands of Iranian tourists who
Armenia with relative ease. The influx of tourists from
Iran accelerated since around 2010–11. In 2010 alone,
around 27,600 Iranians spent
Nowruz in capital Yerevan.
In 2015, President
Serzh Sargsyan sent a letter of congratulations to
Kurds living in
Armenia and to the Iranian political leadership on the
occasion of Nowruz.
Nowruz is celebrated mainly in China's Xinjiang Uyghur
Autonomous Region by the Uyghurs, Chinese Tajik, Salar, and Kazakh
It's a tradition for people to plant trees, dredge irrigation canals,
clean houses and prepare scrumptious food for guests during the
Nowruz is not celebrated by
Georgians (excluding those who live in
Iran and Azerbaijan), but it has become a public holiday in Georgia
since 2010. It is widely celebrated by the country's large Azerbaijani
minority (~7% of the total population) as well as by the Iranians
living in Georgia. Most Georgian
Azerbaijanis live in Kvemo
Kartli, Kakheti, Shida Kartli, and
Mtskheta-Mtianeti regions. In
addition, there is also a large historical Azerbaijani community in
the capital city of Tbilisi, thus marking these as the core regions of
celebration in Georgia. Every year, large festivities are held
notably in the capital Tbilisi. Georgian politicians have
attended the festivities in the capital over the years, and have
congratulated the Nowruz-observing ethnic groups and nationals in
Georgia on the day of Nowruz.
Main article: Newroz as celebrated by Kurds
Newroz in Istanbul, Turkey
Nowruz in Mariwan, Iran
Newroz (or Nevruz) is largely considered as a potent symbol of Kurdish
identity in Turkey, even if there are some Turks (including Turkmens)
celebrating the festival. The
Turkey celebrate this feast
between 18th till 21 March.
Kurds gather into fairgrounds mostly
outside the cities to welcome spring. Women wear colored dresses and
spangled head scarves and young men wave flags of green, yellow and
red, the historic colors of Kurdish people. They hold this festival by
lighting fire and dancing around it. Newroz celebrations are
usually organised by Kurdish cultural associations and pro-Kurdish
political parties. Thus, the
Democratic Society Party
Democratic Society Party was a leading
force in the organisation of the 2006 Newroz events throughout Turkey.
In recent years, the Newroz celebration gathers around 1 million
participants in Diyarbakır, the biggest city of the Kurdish dominated
Southeastern Turkey. As the Kurdish Newroz celebrations in Turkey
often are theater for political messages, the events are frequently
criticized for being political rallies rather than cultural
Until 2005, the Kurdish population of
Turkey could not celebrate their
New Year openly. "Thousands of people have been detained in
Turkey, as the authorities take action against suspected supporters of
the Kurdish rebel movement, the PKK. The holiday is now official
Turkey after international pressure on the Turkish government to
lift culture bans. Turkish government renamed the holiday Nevroz in
1995. In the recent years, limitations on expressions of Kurdish
national identity, including the usage of Kurdish in the public
sphere, have been considerably relaxed.
On 21 March 2013, PKK leader
Abdullah Ocalan called for a ceasefire
through a message that was released in
Diyarbakır during the Newroz
In Syria, the
Kurds dress up in their national dress and celebrate the
New Year. According to Human Rights Watch, the
Kurds have had to
struggle to celebrate Newroz, and in the past the celebration has led
to violent oppression, leading to several deaths and mass
arrests. The government has stated that the Newroz celebrations
will be tolerated as long as they do not become political
demonstrations of the treatment of the Kurds. During the Newroz
celebrations in 2008, three
Kurds were shot dead by Syrian security
Kurds in the diaspora also celebrate the New Year; for example, Kurds
in Australia celebrate Newroz, not only as the beginning of the new
year, but also as the Kurdish National Day. The
Kurds in Finland
celebrate the new year as a way of demonstrating their support for the
Kurdish cause. Also in London, organizers estimated that 25000
people celebrated Newroz during March 2006.
Slavic and Baltic countries
Ukrainian pisanka showing Iranian motifs.
Nowruz (Nowy Rok, Nový Rok) was absorbed by Christian
Easter, many traditions of the historical Slavic religion, resembling
many aspects of ancient Zoroastrianism, are still traditionally
observed in the rural areas. These ancient traditions are also
promoted in the modern movement of Rodnovery. The Russian composer
Igor Stravinsky dedicated Newruz the ballet Le Sacre du printemps.
The Newruz burning piles were complemented by
the cold and morbidity, which is burnt on the spring equinox and
thrown into river. Also the tradition of original pisanki/krašanki
survives, although slowly replaced by Christian
Easter eggs. At Nowruz
the tradition of growing Cardamine, resembling that of Samani, is
cultivated privately at homes.
The rules of Avesta, despite Christianization, were regularly followed
by Slavic and Baltic peoples until the 14th century. This is best
reflected in the traditional wooden Slavic urban architecture strictly
following instructions found in Avesta.
Yasna resembles a Slavic word
meaning the bright/light/clear/shining one (feminine adjective from
jasność, Slavic J pronounced like English Y). The Slavic priests of
the fire ceremony (Żertwa/Agnihotra) were called Żercy/Žercy
Zerdusht (Zarathushtra), the Slavic word for fire ogień
Sanskrit agni. The
Slavs absorbed many Iranic nations,
e.g.: Sarmatians, Iazyges, Serboi, Amardi… and may be
considered the nordic European agriculturalist branch of the
Replica of the oldest Ukrainian pisanka at Pisanka Museum of Kolomyia.
Traditional pisanka with a swastika (svarha) motif.
A mix of modern, diasporan and traditional Ukrainian pisanki.
A traditional Ukrainian pisanka with
Gaokerena (Tree of life) motif.
A meander motif on a traditional pisanka.
Avesta reconstructed and translated by Ignacy
In the 19th century the Polish professor Ignacy Pietraszewski
Avestan language the books of
Avesta and translated
it along the original scriptures parallel into Polish, German and
French offering also the
Latin transcription of the original Avestan
scripture and valuable comments. A position at court of Naser al-Din
Shah Qajar was offered to the professor, which he kindly refused. His
books were burnt on German stockpiles during Kulturkampf, and
ironically inspired the German Nazis in the invention of their "Aryan"
Miano slavianskie w ręku jednej familii od trzech tysięcy lat
zostające, czyli nie Zendawesta, a Zędaszta, to jest życie dawcza
książeczka Zoroastra. Das slavische Eigenthum seit dreitausend
Jahren, oder nicht Zendavesta, aber Zendaschta, das heisst das
lebenbringende Buch des Zoroaster, book 1-2, Berlin 1857 [another
copy: ] (including books I-V of Vendidad. A new edition of the
Polish translation only, titled Zędaszta, to jest życiodawcza
książeczka Zoroastra albo Awesta Wielka, translated by Ignacy
Pietraszewski, reedited by: Julian Edgar Kassner and Andrzej Sarwa.
Series: Święte Księgi, Święte Teksty 19. Published by:
Wydawnictwo Armoryka, Sandomierz 2011. ISBN 978-83-62661-19-0.
Avesta ou plutôt Zen-Daschta expliquè d’après un principe
tout à fait noveau. (...). Le text est accompagné d’une
prononciation, de traductions polonaise et français, et suivi d’un
vocabulaire et d’une grammaire, Berlin 1858-62 (three parts in two
part 1, book 1, 1858: Du Wendidad, rozdz. I-VIII another copy
(extended by books VI-VIII of Vendidad, reprint of Miano
slavianskie... from 1857);
part 2, book 2, 1862: Du Wendidad, rozdz. IX-XXII);
part 3, book 2, 1862: Wyspered et Jasna, rozdz. I-LXXI).
Another copy: google books Reprint: Teheran 1976. (3 parts in 1 book).
Also: Kessinger Publishing 2009 (part 1).
Abregé de la grammaire Zend, Berlin 1861.
Deutsche verbesserte Übersetzung der Bücher des Zoroaster, Berlin
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House cleaning and shopping
Further information: Spring cleaning
House cleaning, or shaking the house (خانه تکانی – xane
tekāni) as referred to by Persian-speaking Iranians, is commonly
observed before the arrival of Nowruz. People start preparing for
Nowruz with a major spring-cleaning of their house and the purchase of
new clothes to wear for the New Year, as well the purchase of flowers.
In particular, the hyacinth and the tulip are popular and conspicuous.
In association with the "rebirth of nature", extensive spring cleaning
is a national tradition observed by almost every household in Iran.
This is also extended to personal attire, and it is customary to buy
at least one set of new clothes.
Parsis adorn their houses with different auspicious symbols; namely,
stars, butterflies, birds and fish. They order and make new attires
especially for the festival. On the day of Navroz, they dress in their
new and best clothes and put on gold and silver kustis and caps. They
decorate the doors and windows with garlands of roses and jasmines,
and use color powders for creating patterns known as rangoli on the
steps and thresholds. Fish and floral motifs are a favorite among
rangolis and considered highly auspicious.
Festival of Charshanbe Suri
Main article: Charshanbe Suri
Charshanbe Suri in New York City, March 2016.
Charshanbe Suri (Persian: چارشنبه سوری –
Čāršanbe Suri; Kurdish: Çarşema Sor; Azerbaijani:
Çərşənbə Bayramı) is a prelude to the New Year. In Iran, it is
celebrated on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz. It is
usually celebrated in the evening, and is obtained by people making
bonfires and jumping over them, as well as setting off fireworks and
In Azerbaijan, where the preparation for Novruz usually begins a month
earlier, the festival is held every Tuesday during four weeks before
the holiday of Novruz. Each Tuesday, people celebrate the day of one
of the four elements – water, fire, earth and wind. On the
holiday eve, the graves of relatives are visited and tended.
Iranians sing the traditional poetic quote zardi ye man az to, sorkhi
ye to az man during the festival, which literally means "my yellow is
yours, your red is mine"; meaning you want the fire to replace your
pallor, sickness, and problems with warmth and energy.
Trail mix and
berries are also served during the celebration.
Spoon hitting (قاشق زنی – qāšoq zani) is an Iranian
tradition observed on the eve of Charshanbe Suri, which is similar to
Halloween custom Trick-or-treating. It is practiced by people
wearing disguises and going door-to-door to bang spoons against plates
or bowls and receive packaged snacks.
In Azerbaijan, according to old traditions, children slip around to
their neighbors' homes and apartments on the last Tuesday prior to
Novruz, knock at the doors, and leave their caps or little basket on
the thresholds all the while hiding nearby waiting for candies,
pastries and nuts.
The ritual of jumping over fire has remained in
Armenia in the feast
of Trndez, which is a feast of purification in the Armenian Apostolic
Church and Armenian Catholic Churches, celebrated forty days after
Festivals of Gul-i-Surkh and Dehqān
In Afghanistan, the festival of Gul-i-Surkh (Dari: گل سرخ;
"Red Flower", referring to red tulip flowers) is the principal
festival for Nauruz. It is celebrated in
Mazar-i-Sharif during the
first 40 days of the year, when the tulip flowers grow in the green
plains and over the hills surrounding the city. People from all over
the country travel to
Mazar-i-Sharif to attend the Nauruz festivals.
Various activities and customs are performed during the Gul-i-Surkh
Jahenda Bala (Dari: جهنده بالا; "Raising"), which is
celebrated on the first day of the New Year, and is attended by
high-ranking government officials such as the Vice-President,
Ministers, and Provincial Governors – It is a specific religious
ceremony performed at the Blue Mosque of Mazar-i-Sharif. The ceremony
is performed by raising a special banner whose color configuration
resembles Derafsh Kaviani. This is the biggest recorded Nawroz
gathering where up to 200,000 people from all over
together to celebrate the ceremony.
Buzkashi tournament, held during the Gul-i-Surkh festival in
Kabul and other northern cities of Afghanistan
The festival of Dehqān (Dari: دهقان; "Farmer") is celebrated
on the first day of the New Year, in which the farmers walk in the
cities as a sign of encouragement for the agricultural productions. In
recent years, this activity is being performed only in
Kabul and other
major cities of Afghanistan, in which the mayor and other high
governmental personalities participate for watching and observing.
The citizens of
Kabul go to Istalif,
Charikar or other green places
around where the
Cercis flowers grow. They go for picnic with their
families during the first two weeks of the New Year.
Main article: Haft Seen
Haft Seen (Persian: هفت سین – Haft Sin); "Seven S's") is
the traditional table setting of
Nowruz in Iran. Typically, before the
arrival of Nowruz, family members gather around a table, with the Haft
Seen set on it, and await the exact moment of the
March equinox to
celebrate the New Year. At that time, the
New Year gifts are
The setting includes seven items starting with the letter S or seen
(س) in the Perso-Arabic alphabet. The items include:
Greenery (سبزه – sabze): Wheat, barley or lentil sprouts grown
in a dish
Samanu (سمنو – samanu): A sweet pudding made from germinated
The dried fruit of the oleaster tree (سنجد – senjed)
Garlic (سیر – sir)
Apples (سیب – sib)
Sumac berries (سماق – somāq)
Vinegar (سرکه – serke)
These items are also known to have astrological correlations to
planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,
Sun and Moon.[citation
Other symbolic items which are usually set along the
Haft Seen are
candles, a mirror, decorating coins, and decorated eggs (sometimes one
for each member of the family). A bowl of water with goldfish, a
holy book (e.g. the
Avesta or Quran) and/or a poetry book (e.g. the
Divan of Hafez), and rose water are also included to the setting.
The custom and the traditional practice of
Haft Seen has been changed
over times. The initial term Haft Chin meaning "the seven collected",
has been gradually altered to the present-day name of the setting.
Greenery for Haft Seen.
Haft Seen table.
White House Haft Seen.
Haft Seen table in the Netherlands.
In Afghanistan, people prepare Haft Mewa (Dari: هفت میوه –
Haft Mēwa; literally "the Seven Fruits") for the New Year's Day. It
is similar to a fruit salad, and is made from seven different dried
fruits served in their own syrup.
The seven dried fruits prepared for the Haft Mewa setting include:
Senjed, the dried fruit of the oleaster tree.
Prune, the dry fruit of plum.
Almond or other species of drupes.
In Azerbaijan, the decoration of the festive table is called Khoncha
(Azerbaijani: Xonça). It consists of a big silver or copper tray,
Samani placed in the center, as well as candles and dyed eggs by
the number of family members around it.
The table should be set, at least, with seven dishes.
A Khoncha setting.
A girl with Khoncha.
Samani in Baku.
A Khoncha setting.
Amu Nowruz and Haji Firuz
Amu Nowruz and Hajji Firuz
Haji Firuz performers on a road to Tehran.
In Iran, the traditional heralds of the festival of
Nowruz are Amu
Nowruz and Haji Firuz, who appear annually in the streets to celebrate
the New Year.
Amu Nowruz brings children gifts, much like his Christian counterpart
Santa Claus. He is the husband of Nane Sarma, with whom he shares
a traditional love story in which they can meet each other only once a
year. He is characterized as an elderly silver-haired man
who puts on a felt hat, and has a walking stick, a long cloak of blue
canvas, a sash, a pair of thin-soled giveh, and a pair of linen
Haji Firuz, a character with his face and hands covered in soot, clad
in bright red clothes and a felt hat, is the companion of Amu Nowruz.
He dances through the streets while singing and playing a tambourine.
In the traditional songs, he introduces himself as a serf trying to
cheer people whom he refers to as his lords.
In the folklore of Afghanistan, Kampirak and his retinue pass village
by village distributing gathered charities among people. He is an old
bearded man wearing colorful clothes with a long hat and rosary who
symbolizes beneficence and the power of nature yielding the forces of
winter. The tradition is observed in central provinces, specially
Bamyan and Daykundi.
Visiting one another
Nowruz holidays, people are expected to visit one another
(mostly limited to families, friends and neighbors) in the form of
short house visits, which are usually reciprocated. Typically, the
youth will visit the elders first, and the elders return their visit
In Iran, the visits naturally have to be relatively short, otherwise
one will not be able to visit everybody on the list. A typical visit
is lesser than 30 minutes, where you often run into other visiting
relatives and friends who happen to be paying a visit to the same
house at that time.
Because of the house visits, you make sure you have a sufficient
supply of pastry, cookies, fresh and dried fruits and mixed nuts on
hand, as you typically serve your visitors with these items with tea
and other beverages. Many Iranians will throw large
Nowruz parties in
a central location as a way of dealing with the long distances between
groups of friends and family.
Main article: Sizdebedar
In Iran, the
Nowruz holidays last thirteen days. On the thirteenth day
of the New Year, Iranians leave their houses to join nature and picnic
outdoors, as part of the Sizdebedar ceremony.
On the day of Sizdah bedar, the greenery grown for the Haft Seen
setting is thrown away, particularly into a running water. It is also
customary for young single people, especially young girls, to tie the
leaves of the greenery before discarding it, expressing a wish to find
Another custom associated with Sizdah bedar is Lie of the Thirteen,
which is the process of lying to someone and making them believe
it. It has been directly borrowed from April Fools'
Day, and has become in vogue in
Iran due to its coincidence with the
day of the celebration of Sizdah bedar.
Desserts and snacks
Ajil (Kurds, Persians): Trail mix
Baklava (Azerbaijanis, Persians, Turks): A flaky pastry filled with
walnuts, almonds or pistachios, and flavored with rosewater
Falooda dessert (Parsis): A sweet milk drink made from vermicelli and
flavored with rose essence
Lagan-nu-custard dessert (Parsis): A type of caramel custard.
Nan berenji (Iranians): Cookies made from rice flour
Noql (Pashtuns, Persians, Tajiks): Sugar-coated almonds
Samanu (Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Persians): Sprouted wheat pudding
Shekerbura (Azerbaijanis): Azerbaijani sweet pastries
Shorgoghal (Azerbaijanis): Flaky bread with a spice filling
Ash e reshte (Iranians): A noodle soup traditionally served on the
first day of Nowruz.
Chicken farcha (Parsis): A typical
Parsi dish of fried chicken.
Dolma (Azerbaijanis): A traditional dish of Azeri people, cooked just
before the New Year. It includes vegetables, meat and rice which have
been cooked, then rolled in grape leaves and cooked again.
Fried fish and jelabi (Afghans): The most often meal of the Nauruz
picnics in Afghanistan.
Kuku sabzi (Iranians): Herbs and vegetable soufflé, traditionally
served for dinner on New Year's. It is a light and fluffy omelet made
with parsley, dill herb, coriander greens (cilantro), spinach, spring
onion leaves and chives, mixed with eggs and walnuts.
Kulcha-e Nauruzī (Pashtuns, Tajiks): Afghan rice cookies which are
only baked for Nauruz.
Nawrız koje (Kazakhs): A traditional
New Year's Day
New Year's Day dish of the
Kazakh people, which includes water, meat, salt, flour, grain and
Reshte polow (Iranians): Rice cooked with noodles.
Sabzi chalaw (Pashtuns, Tajiks): A dish made from rice and spinach.
Sabzi polow with fish (Iranians): A traditional
New Year's Day
New Year's Day meal of
rice with green herbs, served with fish. The traditional seasonings
for sabzi polow are parsley, coriander greens (cilantro), chives, dill
herb and fenugreek greens.
Bas-relief in Persepolis, depicting a symbol in
There exist various foundation myths for
Nowruz in Iranian mythology.
Nowruz as far back to the reign of Jamshid, who in
Zoroastrian texts saved mankind from a killer winter that was destined
to kill every living creature. Jamshid, the mythical Iranian
king, perhaps symbolizes the transition of the Proto-Iranians from
animal hunting to animal husbandry and a more settled life in human
history. In the
Shahnameh and Iranian mythology, he
is credited with the foundation of Nowruz. The book reads that Jamshid
constructed a throne studded with gems. He had demons raise him above
the earth into the heavens; there he sat on his throne like the sun
shining in the sky. The world's creatures gathered in wonder about him
and the scattered jewels around him, and called this day the New Day
(Now Ruz). This was the first day of Farvardin, which is the first
month of the Iranian calendar.
Main article: March equinox
Illumination of Earth by the
Sun on the day of an equinox.
The first day of the
Iranian calendar falls on the March equinox, the
first day of spring, around 21 March. At the time of the equinox, the
sun is observed to be directly over the equator, and the north and
south poles of the Earth lie along the solar terminator. Sunlight is
evenly divided between the north and south hemispheres.
In around the 11th century CE, major reforms of the Iranian calendars
took place and whose principal purpose were to fix the beginning of
the calendar year, i.e. Nowruz, at the vernal equinox. Accordingly,
the definition of
Nowruz given by the Iranian scientist Tusi was the
following: "the first day of the official
New Year [Nowruz] was always
the day on which the sun entered Aries before noon."
Nowruz is the first day of Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian
In the Fasli/Bastani variant of the
Zoroastrian calendar, Navroz is
always the day of the vernal equinox (nominally falling on March 21).
In the Shahenshahi and Kadmi calendars, which do not account for leap
New Year's Day
New Year's Day has drifted ahead by over 200 days. These
latter two variants of the calendar, which are only followed by the
Pakistan and India, celebrate the spring equinox as
Jamshed-i Nouroz, with
New Year's Day
New Year's Day then being celebrated in
Pateti "(day) of penitence" (from patet "confession,"
hence also repentance and penitence).
Followers of the
Zoroastrian faith  include
Nowruz in their
religious calendar, as do followers of other faiths. Shia literature
refers to the merits of the day of Nowruz; the Day of Ghadir took
place on Nowruz; and the fatwas of major Shia scholars  recommend
Nowruz is also a holy day for Sufis, Bektashis, Ismailis,
Alawites, Alevis, Babis and adherents of the Bahá'í Faith.
Main article: Bahá'í Naw-Rúz
Naw-Rúz is one of nine holy days for adherents of the Bahá'í Faith
worldwide. It is the first day of the Bahá'í calendar, occurring on
the vernal equinox around March 21. The
Bahá'í calendar is
composed of 19 months, each of 19 days, and each of the months is
named after an attribute of God; similarly each of the nineteen days
in the month also are named after an attribute of God. The first
day and the first month were given the attribute of Bahá, an Arabic
word meaning splendour or glory, and thus the first day of the year
was the day of Bahá in the month of Bahá. Bahá'u'lláh,
the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, explained that Naw-Rúz was
associated with the Most Great Name of God, and was
instituted as a festival for those who observed the Nineteen day
The day is also used to symbolize the renewal of time in each
religious dispensation. `Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's son and
successor, explained that significance of Naw-Rúz in terms of spring
and the new life it brings. He explained that the equinox is a
symbol of the messengers of God and the message that they proclaim is
like a spiritual springtime, and that Naw-Rúz is used to commemorate
As with all Bahá'í holy days, there are few fixed rules for
observing Naw-Rúz, and Bahá'ís all over the world celebrate it as a
festive day, according to local custom. Persian Bahá'ís still
observe many of the Iranian customs associated with
Nowruz such as the
Haft Seen, but American Bahá'í communities, for example, may have a
potluck dinner, along with prayers and readings from Bahá'í
Twelver Shia faith and Shia Ismaili faith
Along with Ismailis,
Alawites and Alevis, the
also hold the day of
Nowruz in high regard.
It has been said that Musa al-Kadhim, the seventh
Twelver Shia imam,
Nowruz and said: "In
Nowruz God made a covenant with His
servants to worship Him and not to allow any partner for Him. To
welcome, His messengers and obey their rulings. This day is the first
day that the fertile wind blow and the flowers on the earth appeared.
Gabriel appeared to the Prophet, and it is the day that
Abraham broke the idols. The day Prophet
Ali on his
shoulders to destroy the Quraishie's idols in the house of God, the
The day upon which
Nowruz falls has been recommended as a day of
Twelver Shia Muslims by Shia scholars, including Abu
al-Qasim al-Khoei, Ruhollah Khomeini and
Ali al-Sistani. The
day also assumes special significance for Shias as it has been said
that it was on 21 March 656 AD that the first Shia Imam,
Ali, assumed the office of caliphate.
Nowruz Eve among Mazandarani people
New Year's Day
Assyrian new year
^ Historical forms: Новрузит, نۉڤوزيت,
^ Historical and proposed forms: ناڤروزى, Наврузи,
^ Historical forms: Нәԝроз, Նաւրոզ
^ Historical forms: ნოვრუზ, نوروز, Νοβρουζ
^ Eternally fighting bull (personifying the moon), and a lion
(personifying the sun) representing the spring.
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excerpt:نخستين روز است از فروردين ماه و از
اين جهت، روز نو نام كردهاند؛ زيرا كه
پيشاني سال نو است و آن چه از پس اوست از
اين پنج روز [= پنج روز اول فروردين] همه
جشنهاست. و ششم فروردين ماه را "نوروز
بزرگ" دارند؛ زيرا كه خسروان بدان پنج
روز حقهاي حشم و گروهان و بزرگان
بگزاردندي و حاجتها روا كردني، آن گاه
بدين روز ششم خلوت كردندي خاصگان را. و
اعتقاد پارسيان اندر نوروز نخستين آن
است كه اول روزي است از زمانه و بدو، فلك
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که این فیروزی فریدون بر بیوراسپ، رام
روز بودست از مهرماه، و زردشت که مغان او
را به پیغمبری دارند، ایشان را فرموده
است بزرگ داشتن این روز، و روز نوروز را.
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"In connection to calendar reform, another work Nowruz-nama is
attributed to Khayyam but the attribution is not without problems"
^ Umar ibn Ibrahim Khayyam ; bih kushish-i ʻ
"Nowruznamah", Tehran : Nashr-i Chashmah, 1379 . Original
Persian excerpt: آئین ملوک عجم از گاه کیخسرو
تا به روزگار یزدجرد شهریار که آخرین
ملوک عجم بود، چنان بوده است که روز
نوروز نخست کس از مردمان بیگانه، موبد
موبدان پیش ملک آمدی با جام زرین پر می و
انگشتری و درمی و دیناری خسروانی و یک
دسته خوید سبز رسته و شمشیری و تیرکمان و
دوات و قلم و اسپی و بازی و غلامی
خوبروی و ستایش نمودی و نیایش کردی او
را به زبان پارسی به عبارت ایشان. چون
موبد موبدان از آفرین بپرداختی، پس
بزرگان دولت آمدندی و خدمتها پیش
آوردندی. آنچه که موبد موبدان به شاه
میگوید، : شها، به جشن فروردین به
ماه فروردین، به آزادی گزین یزدان و دین
کیان، سروش آورد تو را دانائی و بینائی
به کاردانی و دیرزی و با خوی هژیر و
شادباش بر تخت زرین و انوشه خور به جام
جمشید و رسم نیاکان در همت بلند و
نیکوکاری و ورزش داد و راستی نگاهدار،
سرت سبزباد و جوانی چو خوید، اسپت
کامکار و پیروز و تیغت روشن و کاری به
دشمن و بازت گیرا و خجسته به درم و
دینار، پیشت هنری و دانا گرامی و درم
خوار و سرایت آباد و زندگانی بسیار
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nowruz.
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Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity:
Inscribed in 2008
Inscribed in 2009
Novruz in Azerbaijan
Inscribed in 2010
Traditional art of Azerbaijani carpet weaving
Inscribed in 2012
Craftsmanship and performance art of the Tar
Inscribed in 2013
Chovqan, a traditional Karabakh horse-riding game
Inscribed in 2014
Traditional art and symbolism of Kelaghayi, making and wearing
women’s silk headscarves
Inscribed in 2015
Copper craftsmanship of Lahij
Inscribed in 2016
Flatbread making and sharing culture: Lavash, Katyrma, Jupka, Yufka
Inscribed in 2017
Dolma making and sharing tradition, a marker of cultural identity
Art of crafting and playing with Kamantcheh/Kamancha, a bowed string
UNESCO Masterpieces of the Oral and
Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Iran
Inscribed in 2009
The Radif of Iranian music
Novruz, Nowrouz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz, Nevruz
Inscribed in 2010
Traditional skills of carpet weaving in Kashan
Traditional skills of carpet weaving in Fars
The ritual dramatic art of Ta‘zīye
Pahlevani and zoorkhaneh rituals
The music of the Bakhshis of Khorasan
Inscribed in 2011
Traditional skills of building and sailing
Iranian Lenj boats in the Persian Gulf
Naqqāli, Iranian dram