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With the advent of spring, the Eastern peoples celebrate Navruz (Persian New Year). In 2023, the celebration will be traditionally held on March 21. The event symbolizes the renewal of life, it is associated with hopes for a generous harvest.

History

It is wrong to consider Navruz as a Muslim tradition. The holiday, whose name means "new day", originated much earlier than the advent of Islam, has pagan and Zoroastrian roots. The ancient celebration was celebrated as early as the 6th century. BC. Muslim Arabs do not recognize the essence of Nowruz. For example, in Syria, its celebration is prohibited, since the worship of the forces of nature is contrary to the monotheism of Islam.

Peoples who have lived in the Middle East and Central Asia since ancient times have revered the tradition for many centuries - with the advent of spring to meet the awakening of nature, which reflects the victory over death, the onset of a new life period.

It is believed that the emergence of Navruz is associated with the development of agriculture, the establishment of chronology according to the solar (ancient Iranian) calendar, about seven thousand years ago. According to the established countdown, the beginning of the year came when the dark and daylight hours were equal. It is believed that significant events according to the ancient Zoroastrian religion, for example, the election of Zarathushtra as a god, occurred withthe arrival of Navruz. Omar Khayyam linked the origin of the holiday with the era of the legendary kings Jemshid, Kayumurs and others.

In the Achaemenid Empire, the holiday for the first time received official status. Later, despite the Arab conquest of the territories, the rejection of traditions was preserved in the culture of the ancient peoples.

In 2009, UNESCO declared Navruz a cultural heritage, which contributed to the international recognition of the holiday, which began to be celebrated annually on March 21. Astronomically, the spring equinox sometimes occurs on March 20, but the date of the celebration, symbolically associated with the solstice, is not transferred.

Navruz is widely celebrated by residents of Iran, India, Afghanistan, Turkey, as well as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries.

Traditions and customs

An important event is filled with rituals that have been preserved for thousands of years, although undergoing inevitable changes. So, the rite of purification by flame meant the gaining of strength by those who could jump over the fire seven times. On the eve of the celebration of Navruz, dwellings were fumigated to destroy evil spirits. In modern homes, candles are lit to get rid of unclean forces.

Preparing for the holiday includes a lot of cleaning, laundry, getting rid of unnecessary things to make room for happiness. On the eve of the Eastern New Year, it is important to repay debts, reconcile with everyone, repent of sins.

Meet the holiday should be in clothes specially prepared for the celebration. The one who does not unite with the family, according to beliefs, will wander the world forseven years.

The most important ritual is a festive dinner. Abundance always reigns on a large table, according to tradition, seven dishes should be named with the Persian letter “s”.

In addition to baked meat, they cook pilaf, sumalak, a lot of pastries. Housewives certainly decorate the tables with dishes with wheat sprouts. Shoots 6-8 cm high, tied with a red ribbon, symbolize spring renewal. Sprouts are added to salads, desserts, snacks.

Once upon a time, Zoroastrians kept seeds of barley and other cereals in vessels filled with water to prepare a symbolic decoration for the holiday. The custom has survived to this day.

During the meal, older family members give gifts to younger ones. In countries where Navruz is officially celebrated, it is customary in companies to give gifts to subordinates.

Events in Moscow

In Moscow, Navruz is traditionally celebrated in cultural centers. A special room is set aside for the celebration at VDNKh.

Due to the pandemic in 2023, the holiday was held online, but if the epidemiological situation improves in 2023, residents and guests of the capital will be able to enjoy the many events traditionally held in Moscow in honor of the ancient holiday Navruz.

Among those planned for 2023:

    • events dedicated to the history and culture of the peoples celebrating Navruz;
    • defile in national costumes;
    • performances of pop stars and folk art groups;
    • pilaf festival;
    • thematic exhibitions;
    • fairs,visiting which you can buy handicrafts and get acquainted with oriental cuisine;
    • thematic workshops (from folk crafts to cooking).

    Also, many foot courts will be placed in the places of celebration, visiting which you can try a variety of national dishes and oriental sweets.

    We offer you to watch the video of Navruz celebration in 2023:

    Celebration in different countries

    The traditions of Navruz in different countries differ slightly due to the peculiarities of religion, national culture:

    • in Azerbaijan, the festival lasts five days. It is customary to treat everyone with sweets, homemade dishes. Before the holiday, four weeks are devoted to the natural elements: water, fire, air, earth;
    • in Tajikistan, the symbols of Navruz, the new national year, are annually approved. These include images of folk crafts, flowers, spring birds. According to the custom of Gulgardoni, children and adults collect snowdrops, tulips, irises, give each other with congratulatory songs;
    • in Turkey, they believe that on holidays people should be surrounded by objects, things that symbolize prosperity, happiness, good luck. In their homes, residents keep wine, hearty cakes, baskets of barley sprouts, coins or banknotes on the tables;
    • In Iran, they wear red clothes, symbolizing the element of fire. Faces are painted with soot or paint. The celebration lasts 13 days.

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