March 21, 2016

Persian New Year

The 20th of March on each year marks the start of New Persian year, which is called the “Nowrooz Holiday”. The term ‘Nowrooz’ is a combination of two Persian words, the first one being ‘Now’, which means new and the second one is ‘Rooz’, which means day and when combine these two together the phrase NEW DAY is reached. According to Shia traditions, Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) was approached about this holiday and he was told: Persians celebrate this occasion where they embrace the beginning of spring, they clean their residence, buy new clothing, visit their relatives, help the needy and many other virtues. It is narrated that Imam Ali replied: all of our days are Nowrooz if we carry out these deeds. The reply of Imam Ali is obviously understood as praising the holiday and what it represents for its people, since the beginning of a new year is celebrated by those virtuous deeds and actions that bring nothing but joy and happiness to the souls.
The preparation for Nowrooz celebration includes having 7 things that start with the letter (S) in the Persian language and recitation of a small prayer upon entering the New Year. This holiday is mainly celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Uzbekistan and many other countries that share the Persian linage or the Persian language.
Although Nowrooz is an ancient Persian holiday, yet after the conquest of Persia and arrival of Islam in Iran, unlike many other traditions this holiday was not vanished nor opposed by Muslims, and as mentioned before, Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) praised the holiday and wished all days of the year to be Nowrooz. The contribution of Persians to the Islamic society at the same time has been astonishing in many fields, where even until this day many accomplishments are credited to Persian scholars, who enriched the Islamic tradition. In addition, it shall not be forgotten that among the most respected companions of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) is a Persian man named Salman Al-Farisi, who the Prophet renamed as Salman Al-Mohammadi.
The start of Nowrooz celebrations marks the start of spring, which ends the cold chapter of winter and calls for warming the hearts and replacing hatred and grudges with love. Therefore, let’s hope that one day humanity can also celebrate its Nowrooz, where equality, justice and peace prevails and tyranny and injustice is vanished.

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