Log in
Please enter your login details

Skip to main content

Breaking News
  • Death toll from attack on Egyptian security forces in Sinai climbs to at least 25 – Reuters
  • US is looking into reports that Islamic State fighters used chlorine gas against Iraqi security forces, Secretary of State said – Reuters
  • Russian President Putin said he hoped a deal would be reached next week with Ukraine to end a dispute over gas supplies to Kiev – Reuters
  • ECB President Draghi urged euro zone leaders to make a joint effort to avoid “a relapse into recession” – Reuters
  • US nurse Nina Pham who had Ebola now is virus free – Reuters
  • Putin says Europe unlikely to stop importing Russian gas because there is no alternative – Reuters
  • Russian President Putin says United States is not threat to Russia, though Washington’s policies are harmful to his country – Reuters
  • Russian President Putin says Moscow helped former Ukraine President Yanukovich to leave Ukraine for Russia in February – Reuters
  • Canada Justice Minister: plans to introduce legislation to address terrorism “very soon” but considering possible additions – Reuters
  • PM Cameron says EU demand for extra funds “does not help” case to keep Britain in the 28-nation bloc – Reuters

Nowruz celebrations

20/03/13 15:46 CET

Nowruz celebrations

Nowruz, meaning ‘New day’, was celebrated on Wednesday in several countries.

This ancestral festival, which has been observed for more than 3,000 years marks the Iranian/Persian New Year and is primarily celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. In February 2010 UNESCO recognised The International Day of Nowruz on their list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

Nowruz coincides with the start of spring and traditionally honours the rebirth of nature. The celebration begins precisely with the vernal equinox, the moment the sun crosses the equator and sunlight is evenly divided between the two hemispheres.

Nowruz, whilst now deeply embedded in Iranian culture, is rooted in the traditions of the Zoroastrian religion. Zoroastrianism, an ancient Iranian religion and religious philosophy, was once the state religion of Ancient Iran and is thought to be one of the oldest of the world’s religions.

Although different in every region, the festival is usually honoured with prayer and celebration. In the lead-up to the event, spring-cleaning and visiting family feature heavily. One tradition the ‘Haftsin’ involves laying out specific objects on a tablecloth including seven edible items beginning with ‘s’. As these are not eaten until after the festivities, they are often substituted with alternatives, such as ‘sekke’ (coins), ‘sonbol’ (hyacinth) or ‘sabzeh’ (wheat sprouts), see image below.

Photo Credits: (top of page) Sioudeh Rad (above) Reuters

In recent years Barack Obama has addressed a Nowruz message to the Iranian people.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

More about:

Check out today's top stories