Pack away your coats, leg-warmers, and boots. Spring season is knocking on our doors! But no-one welcomes the beginning of spring quite like the Persian-speaking world.
Friday marks the first day of Nowruz, the New Persian Year. Nowruz, literally “new day” in Farsi, is usually observed on the 21st of March every year.
Celebrations in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan begin on the vernal equinox – the exact moment when the sun crosses the equator and sunlight is evenly divided between the two hemispheres.
A 3,000-vear-old tradition, nationwide preparations are made a month prior to the festival. Although different in each country, the run up to Nowruz is typically honoured with spring-cleaning, literally ‘shaking the house,’ purchasing new clothes and flowers and visiting family and friends.
To mark a festival observed by a large Persian-speaking region, UNESCO recognised The International Day of Nowruz on their list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” in February 2010.
This year, Twitter has also wished its Persian-speaking fans a Happy Nowruz!
The social platform has published an animated story made by its Iranian fans – who wish to remain anonymous – demonstrating the history of the ancestral festivities but also the power of Twitter in Iran.