The beautiful and magical spring is here with its lovely tulips, hyacinths, narcissi, and sweetly fragranced jasmines to remind us again that the nature renovates itself every spring.
The soft spring wind and the Persian Santa Clause (Haji Firouz) on the streets are the envoys of Norooz. Since the ancient times Iranians celebrated their New Year on the very moment the sun completes its full turn around the sun and that is the first day of spring season.
Haji Firouz is the symbol of happiness for people. He is on the streets before and during Norooz with his face and hands painted in black, wearing red clothes and hat. Haji Firouz has a tambourine that plays on it and sings happy traditional songs to bring more joy to Norooz celebration.
As a tradition for Norooz, every house hold does a thorough cleaning of their homes inside out and empties their home of any old and unused material. People buy new clothes and get new haircuts to have a very fresh start for the New Year. The special food for Norooz is fried fish with Sabzi Polo (rice with chopped herbs). It is cooked either for New Year’s Eve dinner or for the lunch on New Year’s Day.
Iranians have a Sofreh for their weddings and celebrations and there is a Haft Seen (seven s’s) Sofreh for Norooz as well. All the items on the table are chosen because they bring good luck and prosperity for all the family members.
Senjed (fruit of the oleaster tree), symbolizing love.
Sib (apple) is the symbol of health and beauty.
Sabzeh (sprouted wheat grass) is a symbol of birth and development.
Samanu (a sweat pudding made from wheat) symbolizes wealth and fertility.
Seer (garlic) symbolizes medicine.
Serkeh (vinegar) symbolizes wisdom gained by age.
Somaq (a Persian berry) symbolizes the color of sunrise.
Some people put coins (Sekeh in Farsi) for future prosperity. The holly book, Qoran or Bible is on the table accompanied by a copy of Rumi’s, Hafez, or Shahnameh (The Epic of Persian Kings).
On the New Year people visit their friends and families and get ready for guests to come over. Greeting is by kissing one another on the cheek in gratitude and saying “Noruz Mobarak!”
Noruz celebration lasts for 13 days and to escape the unluckiness of the 13th day, everyone go out in a park or garden to a have a picnic. On this day like the April Fools’ Day people play practical jokes and spread hoaxes.
This year the earth’s circle around the sun is completed on March 20, 2016 at 8:00’:10’’ a.m.