Happy Nowruz 2015 – A new year begins

SHAFAQNA – Nowruz is a traditional Iranian festival of spring celebrated as the Iranian New Year as per the Solar Hijri Calendar. The New Year observance, however, now is not limited to Iran alone.

Though the tradition has its origin in Iran, today Nowruz is celebrated as a New Yearfestival by around 300 million people worldwide, with traditions and rituals particularly strong in the Balkans, the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions, the Caucasus, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East.

Iraq, India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan are some of the countries where the festival is hugely popular. Even United Nationals has proclaimed it as an official International observance because it promotes peace and solidarity.

Nowruz or Noruz means ‘new day or new daylight’ as per the Hijri culture. Noruz is celebrated either on 20 March or 21 March based on the timing of the equinox.

As per the UN calender of events this year, Nowruz will be observed on 21 March. However, those following the Solar Hejri calendar will celebrate Nowruz on 20 March in United States, while those in Iran will be celebrating it on 21 March.

The celebration of Noruz is at least 3,000 years old and rooted in the rituals of the Zoroastrian religion. The Zoroastrian Parsis of India celebrate Nowruz twice in a year — first during the vernal equinox in March referred as the Fasli New Year and second in July or August, depending upon whether they follow the Kadmi or the Shahenshahi calendar.

Among the followers of the Baha’i faith, a religion with its origin in Iran, Nowruz is celebrated not only as a new year, but for them the celebrations begin on 21 March irrespective of what day the equinox falls.

Nowruz Quotes and Sayings

An optimist stays up until midnight to see thenew year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
Bill Vaughn

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
Edith Lovejoy

Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.
Brooks Atkinson

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…
Alfred Tennyson

The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but rather that we should have a new soul.
G.K. Chesterton

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