The Iranian biggest celebration of the year (Spring Festival)

The first day , after the end of the solar year, the time of vernal equinox, the first day of Spring.

This day  signifies rebirth and is a time of great joy and celebration in Iran. It also has an ancient symbolic representation which is based around the idea of the triumph of good over evil.

یکی از زیبایی‌های نوروزهمزمانی تحویل سال در همه‌ی دنیاست. ارتفاع خورشید در تابستان پایین‌، و در زمستان بالا‌تر است. ولی اگر روی خط استوا بایستیم،  در همه ماه‌های سال خورشید بین شمال و جنوب در حرکت است. در سال دو بار، خورشید نسبت به خط استوا در حالت عمود قرار می‌گیرد که این دو اتفاق را نوروز و مهرگان می نامیم.. تعیین لحظه‌ی تحویل سال، نسبت موقعیت زمین به خورشید است و کجای کره‌ی زمین بودن ربطی به تحویل سال ندارد. چرا لحظه‌ی تحویل سال، هر بار حدود۶ ساعت جلوتر از سال قبل است؟ چون در یک گردش365.25 روزه زمین به دور خورشید، جمعاً 0.25 روز هر سال را به ‌صورت حدود ۶ ساعت تغییر در لحظه ‌ی تحویل سال جدید میبینیم.

آغاز: تحویل سال نو ۱۳۸۹ شمسی‌ در ایران: شنبه ۲۹ اسفند ۱۳۸۸  ساعت ۲۱ و ۲ دقیقه و ۱۳ ثانیه

در لس آنجلس: ۲۰ مارچ ۲۰۱۰ میلادی 10:32:13


This day of great celebration was named Norooz or Nowruz (New day), and is recognized as the first day of the Persian New Year on the Iranian solar calendar.

It is the beginning of the year for the people of Iran, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan. Other Asian republics of the former Soviet Union are joining the group, and the latest report says that Turkey too has decided to declare Nowruz a holiday.  It is also celebrated as the new year by the people of the Iranian stock , particularly the Kurds, in the neighboring countries of Georgia, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey

It begins precisely with the beginning of spring on vernal equinox, on about March 20-21.
The peoples of the Iranian cultures, whether Zartoshtis, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Baha'is, or others, have, under Arab, Turk, Mongol, and Iranian rulers, celebrated Nowruz precisely at the time of vernal equinox, the first day of Spring. 

Festival of Norooz  lasts for 13 days. The first five days is official holiday in Iran, but schools and many private sectors are closed for all 13 days.


The Babylonians observed a 12 month solar year, and a twenty four-hour day made up of twelve two-hour segments. The New Year began in the month of Akitu in the Spring with the public reading of Enuma Elish. The New Year was marked by a festival of approximately twelve days, Puru of Yahali


Persian New Year (First Day of Spring, A New Season)




خانه تكاني


Norooz is a time of renewal and symbolizes rebirth, awakening, cleanliness and newness which is likely to share its roots with the Spring Cleaning in the American culture. They prepare for several weeks before hand. Before the new year, Iranian start cleaning their houses (Khaane Tekaani), they either make or buy new clothes & shoes.




(Meaning green shoots ) A few weeks before  New Year, people put grains of wheat or barley  or lentils in a little dish to grow to use as (Sabze). By the time New Year arrives the grains have produced shoots, remind people of spring and a new year of life. This decoration is a symbol for growth and prosperity and must be kept in the house for thirteen day after which it is thrown into the river.


حاجي فيروز


:is the black faced character who is the traditional herald of the Nowrooz season and begins to wander the streets and alleyways in his red costume weeks before the end of the year & who has come to serve as a mascot for Nowruz celebrations, because it is he who symbolically notifies people of the changing seasons. The sound of his songs , telling all that Nowrooz is in the air.  Haji's intentions and spirit have always been well received and loved by the people.




The Norooz Festival begins with the Chahar Shanbe Soori "Wednesday Fire". Every family celebrates the Chahar Shanbe Soori on Tuesday evening (the night before the last Wednesday). The part of this night especially popular is the bonfire. The lighting of bonfires in hopes of banishing unlucky events and bringing joy to the new year. Every family gathers several piles of wood or brush to be lit shortly after the sunset. All family members line up and take turns jumping safely along (and over) the burning piles, singing to the fire:

"Sorkheeyeh toe az man; zardeeyeh man az toe."Your redness (health) is mine; my paleness (pain) is yours."




قاشق زني


Ghaashogh Zani: Another routine of the Chahar Shanbe Soori festival is the Iranian version of Trick or Treating or ( Ghashogh zani). Flocks of often young trick or treaters, hidden under a traditional Chador (veil) go from door to door banging a big spoon against a metal bowl asking for treats. 



هفت سين

( 7S's ): At the time of begining of the New Year, the entire family, all dressed in their best stay home , gathers around a "Sofreh Haft Seen"( Table of 7S's ) and eagerly await the announcement of the exact time of vernal equinox over radio or television. The time the New Year starts changes every year and is called ‘Tahvil’ .  They put seven items on the table-linen that all start with "S". This is called "Haft Seen". with an arrangement of several items, each of which symbolizes a wish or theme. Items in this arrangement, seven of them, starting with the Farsi letter "seen" (the English "S"), must always be included. The Farsi translation of number seven is "haft" -- hence the name Haft Seen. 

The Haft Seen spread is usually put out a couple of weeks before the Norooz day and symbolizes the holiday season and its special mood very much like the Christmas Tree for the Western holidays. seven (Haft) trays, full of symbolic objects representing truth, justice, light, warmth, life, love, joy, production, prosperity, virtue, immortality and generosity and natur. The seven items starting with the letter "seen" in the contemporary



Haft Seen are: 

Samanu (a Persian snack made of flour and sugar) 

Sekeh (coin) 

Sabzee (green shoots , Grass,vegetables) 

Sonbol (the hyacinth flower) 

Seer ( Fresh garlic) to warn off bad omen.

Senjed (A dried fruit -bohemian olive or jujube fruit sresembling that of the mountain-ash tree) 

Serkeh (vinegar)


Other items often included with the Haft Seen are (Seeb:Apples),(Sumac-a herb) Baklava, Nune Shekari which is a sugar cookies or pastries called Shirini,a copy of their holy book the Shahnameh by "nationalists," and the "Divan" of Hafez by the "romantic”)  a mirror, candles, hard-boiled colored eggs like "Easter eggs," , symbol of fertility corresponding to the mother earth,bowl of rose water. and  Live goldfish  in a fish bowl . Looking at the goldfish at the turn of the year is believed to bring good luck and fortune , flowers, fruits bread . Rose water is sprinkled into the air and Espand a popular incense is burnt, to keep the evil eye away.




شب قبل از سال نو


Traditionally the night before the New Year, most Iranians will have ‘ Sabzi Polo Mahi ’; rice cooked with fresh herbs served with smoked and freshly fried fish.




سال تحويل

The time the New Year starts (the exact time of vernal equinox ) changes every year and is called ‘Sal Tahvil’ . After the cannon has sounded (The Sal Tahvil:Begining of New Year), people hug and kiss each other and wish each other a happy new year.


Norooz mobarak: Happy Norooz 

Norooz pirooz:
Norooz be prosperous 

Sal-e no mobarak:
Happy new year 

Sad sal beh  in sal-ha:
May another hundred years be as happy and 
joyous as this one (referring to the holiday feeling). 



Usually older ones  give (Eidi).  Eidi is often coin  or cash to the younger ones. Sweets are offered to all to symbolically sweeten their lives for the rest of the year . During the holidays, people go to see their relatives & friends  begin. Each visit is reciprocated. .When the guest is leaving, the host gives some "Eidi" to the kids,  it is not very common to give toys as the Eidi.




سيزده بدر



At the thirteenth day of the new year (the end of the Norooz festival), the people go to picnics to countryside . This is called Seezdah Bedar"getting rid of thirteen".. This is the most popular day of the holidays . All kinds of food and delicacies are prepared ,  Music is every where, People sing, dance , Play games and sports, Drink, Eat..yes its a big party.






Young single women tie the sabzee leave(s) prior to discarding it, symbolizing the wish to be tied in a marriage by the Seezdah Bedar of next year!

People throw the Sabze (green Grass,vegetables) away, they believe Sabze should not stay in the house after Seezdah Bedar.The sabze is supposed to have collected all the sickness, pain and ill fate hiding on the path of the family throughout the coming year! Touching someone else's sabze on this thirteenth day or bringing it home is therefore not a good idea and may result in absorbing their pain and hardship. 




 Susanne Pari. She tells the story of one year, when her childhood home was robbed during the New Year's festivities, and how the revolution in Iran changed the meaning of celebrating New year.Susanne Pari is the author of the novel, The Fortune CatcherListen to this story...




Persian New Year is one of those valuable things based on the family and culture that when truly understood, can make a person very proud of their cultural identity. Every year, Iranians around the world attend the celebration & continue to preserve the core of this tradition,  & future generations  retain some of the magic experienced by their predecessors.  

آغاز: تحویل سال نو ۱۳۸۹ شمسی‌ در ایران: شنبه ۲۹ اسفند ۱۳۸۸  ساعت ۲۱ و ۲ دقیقه و ۱۳ ثانیه

در لس آنجلس: ۲۰ مارچ ۲۰۱۰ میلادی 10:32:13

¼ Time Zone in Iran:

3.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+3.5 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is observed from 22 March - 21 September. 



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