Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nowruz, Revival of Nature and Heart

The Iranian new year or Nowruz is celebrated  when the culmination of change and new life in nature appears. When temperatures increase, signs of the cold winter and  sleeping nature vanish, as blossoms grow on branches and flowers bloom.The Iranian new year coincides with what is called the Equinox and the true shift in the earth's axis and change in climate. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to observe the rituals.

Nowruz has been celebrated for thousands of years in Iran and within the radius of Iranian civilizational influence. Countries like Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkemenistan, Kirghistan and Kazakhstan  where Farsi is spoken and signs of  Persian culture, customs and tradition are evident in ordinary life, all celebrate Nowruz. Hundreds of thousands of expatriate Iranians living in Europe and the US also celebrate this important occasion.  Nowruz is a time for friendship and forgiveness, it is a time for cherishing the blessings of life and nature.
Iranians and many other nations who enjoy the Persian culture and civilization celebrate Nowruz  as a symbol of their common heritage. Celebration of  Nowruz is the celebration of peace and friendship among nations and  has great cultural implications for humanity. For this reason the UN has designated this day as an international celebration.
The Haft Seen Table is the tradition followed in every Iranian home

Its a symbol of preparing for new times and better days. It is also a symbol of the changes we all need to bring about in our hearts and minds, we need to mend broken hearts and to heal the scars left behind. In Islamic ethics as individuals, we need to revisit our practices and behaviors and to evaluate them.  We need to clean the greed, deceit and hatred that plagues our hearts and prepare for an inner Spring and new life.
Family unions are very common and Iranians travel around the country to visit their loved ones and to see the beautiful scenery of spring in different cities throughout the country. 

The upcoming Presidential elections are the subject of many family gatherings. The Ahmadinejad team are trying to promote traditional Persian holidays like Nowruz to focus on nationalism rather than the more religious aspects of the country's Islamic Republic. Reformists have recently  produced an in depth analysis and plan concerning the very difficult conditions Iran is facing. They demonstrate how social and economic indicators have plummeted  due to current mismanagement and  they have given a plan how to tackle the crisis. 

Sprouts are a symbol of revival and spring 

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