Persian New Year
By MortazaviBlog on Mar 23, 2005
Being a Persian, I was so busy celebrating, I actually forgot to blog about the Persian New Year.
Just kidding—instead, I had to finish an urgent private task over the weekend and had no time to join the festivities in their full glory and unfurling but I worry not because sizdah be dar is still more than a week away, long enough to recover my bearing and call on friends and family to honor them and to wish them a happy new Persian year.
In any case, this is a great time of the year, at least for the Persians or peoples of Persian stock and culture, or influenced by Persian culture, and everyone else, for it is the very beginning of Spring, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. (Southern Hemisphere can celebrate Mehreghan, the beginning of fall, now, I suppose.)
The geographic extent of the celebration of Noruz has not been clearly established in our times. It is probably one of the most ancient celebrations still surviving very close to its original form. (Thankfully, consumerist gift exchange has not corrupted this ritual.)
In the 1980s (and perhaps earlier, from the times of Ata Turk or soon after?), it was banned in Turkey, where Istanbul's Topkapi palace still carries ornamental Persian poems on its walls and doors. I'm not sure about the status of the celebration in Persian communities of Pakistan or India. Frankly, I'm surprised that nothing of it seems to be lingering in Iraq, where the Sassanids had their capital prior to the rise of Islam. I know it is also celebrated with gusto in Azerbaijan on both sides of the border, and in certain reaches of Central Asia as well as some of the Persian Gulf islands and coastal communities.
In the meantime, let me just leave you with this note—and I'll try to update it in the coming days.