What is Nowruz?
Nowruz is an Iranian/Persian new year that starts with the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Iranians use a solar calendar which is the most precise one. All the Iranians around the world celebrate their new year on the first day of Farvardin month (20 or 21st of March) at the exact time which differs each year and the celebration officially continues for 13 days.
“This calendar is almost unknown in the West, although it is one of the most accurate, if not the most accurate in the world. Compared with the Gregorian calendar, which errors by one day, every 3,226 years, the Iranian calendar needs a one-day correction every 141,000 years. There are two reasons for this accuracy. The Iranian calendar uses a sophisticated intercalation system for determining the leap years. And the beginning of the year, which is a natural phenomenon (arrival of the Sun at the Vernal Equinox), is precisely determined each year by astronomical observations.
The present calendar resulted from a reform conducted in 1079 by a group of astronomers headed by the great Iranian mathematician and poet Omar Khayyam. The origin of the calendar is however much older. It goes back to the Persian Achaemenian period in the 6th century BC. The Islamic lunar calendar was widely used till the end of the 19th century. However, since the Pahlavi period, the more accurate solar calendar is used throughout the country and has remained the official system despite the Islamic revolution. During the Pahlavi period, the Arabic months used extensively were abandoned and once again the ancient Persian names were revived and are still in use today.” From Iran Chamber Society
Who Celebrates Nowruz?
Considering Iranians use their own ancient calendar as the official one throughout the country, the Arabic calendar for Islamic events and the Gregorian calendar for international dealing, be patient if you encounter an Iranian who has a difficult time telling you their birthday on the Gregorian date!
The exact time and date for this year for different cities and countries around the world could be found here.
Countries that officially celebrates this new year for thousands of years are;
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Haftseen (Persian: هفتسین) is an arrangement of seven symbolic items whose names start with the letter “س” (pronounced as “seen”). Learn more about Haftseen
Things I miss most about the Nowruz celebration are the lively Tajrish Bazar just a couple of hours before New Year, the sound of salespeople reminding customers of no time left, and their colorful arrangements of Sabzeh (wheat, barley, mung bean, or lentil sprouts are grown in a dish), colorful handmade eggs, goldfish, and flowers.