According to the tales of Shahnameh, the origins of Nowruz are related to Jamshid the mythical Iranian king. Just notice that Shahnameh is the great legendary Iranian poem book by Ferdowsi many centuries ago. The rest of the pieces of evidence trace back the roots of this ceremony to matriarchy times and primitive societies. The magnificent Nowruz 1400 is the ceremony of the new year in Iran and some other Persian-speaking countries. Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and even India and Pakistan are among Persian-speaking nations. It calculated accurately considering the minutes and seconds. It holds on the first day of spring which is simultaneous to the flow of water. In accordance with the growth of young plants on earth or in other words resuscitation of our earth after winter.
All these are the testimonies of the close connection of Nowruz and the Iranian legends and myths which are mostly related to the holiness of water, plants, nature, and agriculture. Every year on March 21 Nowruz celebrates by more than 300 million people in 11 countries as the official new year celebration with traditions and beliefs that remained from days of legend and myth. This year seems more highlighted through the Iranian nation as known as the beginning of the 1400 century. This is why it seems so brilliant to Iranians.
Apadana Palace inside Persepolis is the most significant resource of Nowruz in ancient Iran. The masterly bass reliefs show people from different nations who are coming to visit the king of Persia in Persepolis which is the glorious palace for celebrating Nowruz.
Nowruz 1400 in Iran
In Iran, getting ready for Nowruz starts one month beforehand! The family members start cleaning their houses and maybe changing some furniture. Making their houses clean and getting rid of unused and old stuff is an important tradition calling “Khooneh Takani” literally meaning shaking house!
Samanoo Pazoon (Cooking Samanoo) is a pre-Islamic Iranian tradition that is still held in some Iranian families. It is a sweet paste or pudding made with germinated wheat with no sugar added and is a member of the Nowruz 1400 ceremony! Cooking Samanoo on fire and stirring it, takes a whole night to the morning and this is a good reason for the Iranian families to gather and spend a long night awake. In the morning some nuts like almond and walnut are added to Samanu and the tasty Nowruz sweet is ready.
Sabzeh (green/ grass) is another member of Nowruz which gets ready some time sooner. One month before Nowruz arrives, Iranians grow a small amount of wheat or other plant seeds like lentil inside a pot or dish to bring green life to their home. Sabzeh is a sign of spring, youth and new life.
There are still some Iranian mothers who don’t believe in buying sweets and confections and prefer baking homemade sweets for Nowruz. With their magical recipes and fresh and healthy ingredients like pistachio, almond or flour, soft and tasty sweets and cookies in different shapes are going to be ready few days before Nowruz.
Today Haft-sin (also spelled as Haft-seen) is the most important element of the Nowruz 1400 ceremony, which shows the new year is right behind the door and is the collection of seven items starting with Sin the Persian alphabet. These items include:
Sabzeh: wheat lentil and some other sprouts grown as a small amount of plant
Senjed: a tiny fruit
Samanoo: sweet made of wheat
Each item on Haft-sin is symbol of a special concept like health and wealth. Some others believe that each sin refers to the spirit of a Persian calendar month. Just like Ordibeheshe (the second month on the Persian calendar), Mordad (the fifth month) and etc. Whether luxurious or very simple, all Iranians gather around their Haft-sin, read classic poems of Hafiz or Khayyam and wait until the exact moment, when new year arrives. The beautiful thing is that each Iranian with their own views celebrate Nowruz. Muslims read their holy book of Quran and Zoroastrians read Avesta.
Did o Bazdid
Another beautiful aspect of Nowruz is that Iranians go and meet their relatives, family members and friends especially the older ones. This is called “Did O Bazdid” which is visiting some relatives at their houses. Then hosting them while they come to visit you back! These visits include hours of chat and laughter and giving small presents to younger members and children which is known as its sweet part.
Besides what mentioned above there are more customs around the big Nowruz ceremony. People are still so connected to this legendary and symbolic ceremony and respect it a lot. As Iranians believe, the aroma of Nowruz is going to be spread and they feel that new year is around!