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Iranian Preparing To Celebrate Nowruz: The Persian New Year

As the year winds down, Iranians across the country gear up for a significant occasion: welcoming the Iranian New Year with the celebration of Nowruz. This preparation transcends mere festive arrangements; it embodies a thorough rejuvenation of all life aspects. From deep house cleaning to refreshing home décor, every action resonates with the essence of this age-old ritual.

During these days, the focus on cleanliness is paramount. Iranians meticulously cleanse carpets, curtains, and windows, symbolizing not just physical purity but also a renewal of the spirit. It’s a time for out with the old, in with the new, as many indulge in buying new items and reorganizing their homes. But Nowruz’s beauty lies deeper than mere tradition. It signifies purity, a shift in attitudes, and cleansing hearts of any bitterness.

Iranian Preparing To Celebrate Nowruz: The Persian New Year

Celebrated for thousands of years, Nowruz is much more than a festivity. It’s a reflection of nature’s revival and a testament to unity and harmony, deeply embedded in the Iranian psyche. This period of cleaning and renewal serves as a catalyst for reinvigorating the soul’s vitality. Embracing the New Year, Iranians also embrace a personal and environmental transformation, celebrating and praising the divine.

During Nowruz, the bustling energy is palpable everywhere. Shopkeepers and vendors become part of this transformation, witnessing and contributing to the city’s widespread renewal and cleansing.

The preparations for Nowruz, however, go beyond the physical. They weave into the spiritual and cultural fabric of Iranian society. Everyone, from homemakers to working professionals, engages in this collective effort. This preparation, steeped in joy, empathy, and a profound respect for nature, is more than a tradition—it’s a celebration of the rich Iranian culture and the enduring spirit of its people.

Read More: Everything You Need to Know About Nowruz

The return of the spring was seen to have great spiritual significance, symbolising the triumph of good over evil and joy over sorrow. In particular, the Spirit of Noon, known as Rapithwina, who was considered to be driven underground by the Spirit of Winter during the cold months, was welcomed back with celebrations at noon on the day of Nowruz according to Zoroastrian tradition.

Khaneh Tekani!

It all begins in early March with ‘spring cleaning’. This tradition known as ‘Khaneh Tekani,’ literary meaning ‘shaking the house,’ is common in almost every household. Carpets are washed, windows are wiped, silverware is polished, curtains are taken to the dry cleaners and old furniture is repaired or replaced with a new one.

Every nook and cranny is scrubbed and polished until the whole house is sparkling clean. All family members are involved in this ritual, a ritual that signifies a fresh start to the year. It is widely believed that with all the dust and grime, ill fortune is also washed away and the slate is wiped clean again.

Nowruz In Iran
Before Nowruz arrives, city municipalities work to infuse a spring ambiance throughout the cities, preparing to welcome the Persian New Year.

And then it’s shopping time. During the weeks left to the New Calendar Year, people head for the markets and shopping centers to buy an assortment of goods. And what’s on the list? New clothes, new shoes, fresh fruits, sweets and confectionaries, nuts, flowers and everything that goes on the Haft Seen Table. This special spread is a ‘must’ on the New Year and local markets are packed with enthusiastic shoppers who are looking for those special offers and last minute bargains.

Local flower markets are the busiest during the final days of the year. They’re filled with fresh cut flowers, beautiful potted plants and vendors beckoning you to buy. As you baby step your way through the crowd, you can’t help but enjoy all that enthusiasm and vigor in the air! The hyacinth is probably the most sought after flower here as it stands for prosperity and happiness in the Persian culture.

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New Year Shopping: Buying New Clothes

Before Nowruz, Iranians often engage in a delightful tradition of buying new clothes to welcome the Persian New Year with a fresh start.

Families visit bustling bazaars and modern shopping centers to purchase new attire for themselves and their loved ones. The choices range from traditional outfits, like colorful and intricately embroidered Persian dresses and shirts, to contemporary fashion trends.

As Nowruz approaches, the streets of cities like Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz come alive with the excitement of shoppers seeking the perfect outfits to mark this special occasion. It’s not just about dressing well; it’s about embracing the spirit of Nowruz and the joy it brings to Iranian households. Alongside the clothing shopping, Iranians also buy fresh flowers, especially hyacinths and tulips, to decorate their homes and set the stage for the Haft-Seen table, a traditional Nowruz display. So, if you plan to visit Iran during this festive season, consider joining in the tradition of buying new clothes before Nowruz to immerse yourself in the rich cultural experience that surrounds this vibrant Persian holiday.

Chaharshanbe Soori or the Fire Festival

Nevertheless, the most important curtain-raiser to Nowruz is Chaharshanbe Soori which is a fire festival held on the eve of the last Wednesday of the calendar year. This festival is full of special customs and rituals, especially jumping over fire. As the sun sets, people light up fires and gather around to jump over them. As they do this, they sing “zardi-ye man az toh, sorkhi-ye toh az man” meaning my yellow is yours, your red is mine. In this ritual, they ask the fire to take their paleness and problems and in return give them energy and warmth.

Chaharshanbe Suri In Iran – Ancient Persian Festival Of Fire
Chaharshanbe Suri in Iran – Ancient Persian Festival of fire

Preparing Haft Sin Items in Anticipation of Nowruz

As Nowruz approaches, one of the essential preparations is setting up the Haft Sin table. Haft Seen, also referred to as Haft Sin, serves as a traditional and symbolic focal point of Nowruz celebrations in Iran.

Haft Sin: Seven S Of Nowruz
Haft Sin: Seven S Of Nowruz

Seven items beginning with the sound /s/ are symbolically set on the table. ‘Senjed’ or dried oleaster which symbolizes wisdom, ‘Sabzeh’ or sprouts refer to rebirth, ‘Seeb’ or apple stands for health and beauty, ‘Samanu’ or pudding made from wheat germ is a sign of power, ‘Sir’ or garlic refers to medicine and good health, ‘Serkeh’ or vinegar symbolizes patience and finally Somac which stands for sunrise and Good conquering Evil.

Other items such as coins, flowers, mirror and candle sticks and decorated eggs are also put on the table to bring good luck, wealth and happiness for the family.

The Holy Quran also has a special place on the table. And let’s not forget the goldfish which is favorite especially to the children.

Sizdah Bedar: 13th Day of Nowruz

The holidays culminate in a special festival called ‘Sizdah Bedar’. This national event falls on the 13th and the last day of the holidays and it is when everyone goes out to spend time in nature. This is all done to get rid of the so-called ‘curse’ of number 13. On this day, people set off for the countryside or the parks to set up tents and have picnics.

Sizdah Bedar
Sizdah Bedar, also known as Nature’s Day, is an Iranian festival held annually on the thirteenth day of Farvardin, during which people spend time picnicking outdoors. It marks the end of the Nowruz holidays in Iran.

Children play football, badminton and Ping-Pong, fly kites and enjoy a game of Frisbee while the elders prepare lunch. Making kebabs is a tradition and men usually take the lead. They start preparing the charcoal grill while the ladies thread the meat onto the skewers.

Final Words

In summary, the preparations for Nowruz in Iran are a delightful blend of cherished customs and joyful anticipation. Iranians enthusiastically clean and decorate their homes, purchase new clothes, and set up the Haft Sin table. These activities symbolize the arrival of spring and the Persian New Year, fostering a sense of unity, hope, and renewal in Iranian culture. Nowruz is a time of celebration, bringing families and communities together to welcome the promises of a new beginning as the first day of spring draws near.

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SURFIRAN Editorial Team

SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.

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One Comment

  1. Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of
    the challenges. It was really informative. Your site is extremely helpful.
    Many thanks for sharing!

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