Happy Nowruz all around the world

“Nowruz, which translates to “New-day”, is the traditional Iranian New Year celebration.  It
has been celebrated in Iran for over two thousand years by all people regardless of their
ethnicity, religion, or language.  Because of its non-ethnic, non-religious nature it is still
prominent outside the political boundaries of modern Iran and is celebrated by people of
Central Asia, Caucasus, and many other places in West Asia.  It has also been adopted as the
official New Year feast of the Baha’i faith, due to their roots in Iran.

Nowruz is commonly perceived as the most “Iranian” of all celebrations, emphasising an
Aryan/Indo-Iranian rooting.  However, there is no mention of Nowruz or its traditional, well-
known celebrations in Achaemenid inscriptions, the oldest parts of the Avesta, or in the Old
Iranian hymns of Zoroastrianism. This points to the non-Iranian roots of the celebration.

We know that the Sumerian and Babylonian calendars of the Mesopotamia were based on the
changing of the seasons.  The sedentary agriculture of Mesopotamia served as the backbone
of Babylonian economy and was greatly dependent on the changing of the seasons and the
amount of annual rainfall.  Therefore, the beginning of the spring was of great importance in
Mesopotamia and was celebrated accordingly.  There was also an annual ritual in Babylonia
at the beginning of the spring. The king was required to make a journey to the temple of
Marduk and receive the regal signs from the gods and give royal protection to the great god
of Babylon.  The yearly renewal of this mutual support seems to symbolize the renewal of
life marked by the beginning of the spring.  We have records of the Iranians adopting this
ritual when Cyrus the Great invaded Babylon and appointed his son, Cambyses, as his deputy

In contrast, the lifestyle of Iranian tribes prior to their settlement in Iran was nomadic and
greatly depended on cattle raising instead of sedentary agriculture. They had no need to keep
exact track of seasonal changes. Their homeland in the central Asian steppes, had very cold
winters and scorching summers. The arrival of spring was less significant here than in the
more temperate lands to the south. Therefore, we can conclude that the original roots of
Nowruz lay in the Mesopotamian celebration of the arrival of spring and was later adopted by
settled Iranian tribes, probably as early as the reign of the first Achaemenid emperor.  If we
accept this theory, it is important not to forget the specific Iranian characteristics that shaped
this celebration into a distinctly Iranian custom.” As they explain on iranologie.com

Happy Nowruz!! Today the Persian calendar enters the year 1400.

Norooz Persian table decoration spring celebration
I hope you enjoy this beautiful Persian song that I shared on my previous year’s blog post on Nowruz.