Navroz, also known as Nowruz, is the first day of spring or equinox and is celebrated as the Iranian and Persian New Year. This year, the day falls on March 21. Navroz's timing in Iran is based on the Solar Hijri algorithmic calendar, which is based on precise astronomical observations.
‘Nav’ means new and ‘roz’ means a day. Hence, Navroz means the first day of the Persian year. The day promotes peace, solidarity, love, and reconciliation and is celebrated with food, new clothes and by spending quality time with loved ones. The day is celebrated by cultural region that comes under Iranian influence or any part of the world that has migrations by Persians. The festival usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/ following day.
The origin of Nowruz has been credited to the mythical Iranian King Jamshid, who saves mankind from a winter destined to kill every living creature. As per records, to defeat the killer winter, Jamshid constructed a throne studded with gems. The demons rose him above the earth into the heavens, where he sat like a shining Sun. The world's creatures gathered and scattered jewels around him and proclaimed that this was the New Day (Now Ruz). This was the first day of Farvardin, which is the first month of the Iranian calendar.
Navroz has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in Central Asia, West Asia, the Black Sea Basin, and the Balkans. In India, the festival is celebrated by the Parsi community by following traditional rituals and rites. The festival has been declared the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009.
Traditional customs of Nowruz include fire and water, ritual dances, gift exchanges, reciting poetry, and symbolic objects, and family gatherings.
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