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.
- 1Japanese volcano erupts on nuclear power station island
- 2One of world’s biggest container ships stranded on German river
- 3Taiwan: at least 18 killed as earthquake brings down several buildings
- 4World condemns North Korean satellite launch
- 5EU foreign ministers tell Turkey to let in the exodus from Aleppo
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2International news | euronews, latest international news
- 3Hope vs harsh reality: challenges to global education goals in the 21st century
- 4Madrid to appeal Catalan road to independence from Spain
- 5Thousands in Bucharest blame corruption for Friday’s nightclub blaze
- 6Turkey: Explosion hits Istanbul’s main tourist district
- 7Paris: “I would rather see my brother in prison than in a cemetery”
- 8Extras : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 9Jorge Lorenzo clinches his third MotoGP title in Valencia
- 10Partnering to grow Europe
- 11Macedonian Postcards: The Mavrovo National Park
- 12Moldova: protesters storm Parliament
- 13Benzema questioned in French sex tape case
- 14Brussels remains on high alert: ‘multiple operations underway’ across Belgium
- 15Business news and finance news | euronews: international economic and finance news
- 16Special Reports : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 17smart care - All Programmes | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 18Norway sends Syrian refugees back to Russia
- 19latest Learning World - All Programmes | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 20New temporary spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood appointed
Latest world news
S Korea denounces N Korea rocket launch as ‘unacceptable provocation’
Taiwan quake: young man pulled alive from rubble, as survivor search continues
North Korea launches rocket, defying international warnings
Somali passenger jet ‘holed by bomb’
Five killed in ‘massive’ avalanche in Austrian Alps
Wires > News
- 10:16 CET Australia pledges aid to help Tonga, Pacific with Zika
- 10:14 CET Travel agency in isolated Gaza recalls the ‘golden’ 1950s
- 10:11 CET Insight – In southern Africa, an illusion built on aid heralds…
- 08:16 CET More pulled out alive after Taiwan quake, about 120 people still…
- 07:16 CET Malaysia’s new Twitter police target critics of PM Najib
- 04:45 CET More than 3,100 pregnant women in Colombia have Zika virus -…
- 04:07 CET Australian woman freed after kidnap by al Qaeda in Burkina Faso
- 22:59 CET Tunisia finishes Libya border fence intended to keep out militants