It’s that time of year again! The snow has started to melt away, and the soft scent of life blooming is in the air. For most, March 20 means nothing more than the beginning of spring. For some of us, it’s more than that.
Norooz signifies rebirth, fertility, renewal and and is a celebration of life. Celebrated prominently in Iran, and widely in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, Persian New Year is our biggest holiday.
My dad reminisces about his days in Iran as a child — how everybody would put in team effort to do khane takoni (spring cleaning), which means cleaning, dusting, scrubbing and wiping every inch of your home.
My mom talks about how her and her siblings would excitedly dress up in their brand new Eid clothing, and impatiently wait to collect their Eidy (money given to kids by their parents, extended family, and friends).
I remember when I was younger and living in Sweden, my mom and I would spend hours painting eggs for the haft seen (our haft seen this year is shown in the photo above).
Unfortunately for kids in Iran, they have school 6 days a week and only have Fridays off, so you can imagine their relief and joy at having two whole weeks off to celebrate this holiday!
The celebration of Norooz is an old an ancient tradition in Iran, dating back to over 3000 years ago. Though many things have changed, the one thing the people of Iran have managed to preserve is this holiday.
An important aspect of Iranian culture is spending time with family, especially on Norooz. My family rung in the new year at 7:02 a.m., while we were in the car driving to work. It was a very groggy and underwhelming celebration, with my mom sleepily yelling out “happy new year!” and my brother and I trying to show some enthusiasm.
Oh and I was kidding about the snow melting and the flowers blooming. It’s been snowing everyday since Monday this week and it hasn’t been higher than +1 degree. Apparently Ottawa missed the memo that it is now spring?
Though it feels more like Christmas than anything else, I wish everyone celebrating a happy Norooz! Eide shoma mobarak!