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International Day of Nowruz – March 21, 2023

International Day of Nowruz celebrated every March 21 is a highly significant and anticipated global New Year holiday occurring on the spring equinox, ringing in the arrival of spring and symbolizing rebirth and renewal of nature. The United Nations’ holiday declared on March 21, 2010, also known as ‘Nauryz,’ ‘Navruz,’ or ‘Nowrouz’ translated — ‘new day,’ dating back to at least 3,000 years is amazingly celebrated by over 300 million people worldwide. However mainly in Iran, Afghanistan, the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey, Syria, India, and throughout Central Asia. The Nowruz Day festival aims to promote values of peace, friendships, and harmony, uniting humanity across the globe.

History of International Day of Nowruz

Nowruz, which traces its origins to Zoroastrianism, a widely practiced ancient Persian religion rumored to have originated about 3,000 years ago with light and fire ( sustaining life) as the central focus is celebrated in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East among other regions. The Nowruz ancestral festivity promotes the strengthening of ties via values of peace, solidarity, reconciliation, neighborliness, and mutual respect, fostering acceptance of cultural diversity and understanding between different communities.

Pre-Persian celebrations are excitedly ushered in with spring or house cleaning — ‘khooneh tekooni.’ Iranians, a few weeks before the actual New Year, ‘Nowruz’ festival wade off Satan and bad spirits residing in dark corners signifying new birth, to the actual ceremony, decking on colorful new clothing for a fresh start, jumping over bonfires dubbed the ‘Chaharshanbeh Soori’ which is symbolic of burning of all negativity from the previous year and cleansing the skate for good luck and fresh new beginnings, children bang spoons on cooking pots ‘qashoq zani’ and go around the neighborhood asking for candy or sweets plus an array of endless Persian delights including its signature dish ‘sabzi polo mahi’ rice mixed with white fish and herbs, Afghanistan’s buzkashi tournaments, dance performances the list goes on! Nowruz comes tops among the anticipated festivals and we’ve got to admit, it’s pretty loaded.

In 2010, the International Nowruz Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/64/253 of 2010, under the agenda item of ‘culture of peace,’ following a request from member states of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan who prepared and introduced a draft resolution (A/64/L.30) entitled ‘International Day of Nowruz’ and just like they say, the rest is history.

International Day of Nowruz timeline

6th B.C.E.
Zoroastrianism

The ancient Persian religion is the world’s oldest monotheistic faith, which predates all regions.

Second Century
Nowruz gets first mention

Nowruz name identification does not occur until the Second Century.

11th Century
Iranian Calendar Reform

The calendar is reformed in 1079.

224—650 A.D.
Nowruz Celebration Takes Lead

During this period it is regarded as the most prominent ritual of the year.

2010
International Day of Nowruz is Born

Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/64/253 of 2010.

2015
White House holds Nowruz

Michelle Obama hosts the Iranian-Persian New Year celebration for inclusion and diversity.

International Day of Nowruz FAQs

When is the International Nowruz Day?

Celebrated annually every March 21, Nowruz, which marks the beginning of a new year, occurs on the day of the vernal equinox.

How Do I Prepare for Nowruz?

Before the holiday, people prepare for Nowruz with a 19-day Bahá’í fast. They go without food from sunrise to sunset. During this time, people also focus on daily prayers and reflections. Some get ready for Nowruz by cleaning their whole house and decorating with fresh flowers.

What Can I Wear WhenInvited?

Most Iranians wear new clothing and traditional costumes, but as a guest, simple formal clothing with some color will do just fine.

International Day of Nowruz Activities

  1. 1. Participate in spring cleaning

    Soak up the spirit of the Nowruz festival by prepping ahead. You could observe the spring cleaning tradition by cleaning your house from top to bottom to wade off evil and complete decor with fresh flowers.

  2. 2. Set up your own table

    The ‘haft-sin’ table is a significant part of the Nowruz celebrations which is typically set up with items, such as soften (a special cloth), seven traditional food items symbolizing spring and renewal — wheat, lentils or barley, flowers, dried fruit, garlic, apples and vinegar, eggs resembling fertility, coins for prosperity as well as a live goldfish representing new life and a mirror for reflection.

  3. 3. Join the festival

    It’s a 13-day festival with lots of activities. Be sure to join in on the fun and usher in New Year in style. If you can’t, don’t sweat it, you could wind off with millions across the world by observing the ‘sizdah be-dar’ — ‘getting rid of thirteen’ celebrated on the thirteenth day of Nowruz which involves leaving the comfort of home, enjoying nature outside, and dumping bad luck behind.

Five Facts About International Day Of Nowruz

  1. #1

    Nowruz dates back thousands of years The over 3,000-year-old spring holiday is celebrated by no less than 300 million people.

  2. #2

    Zoroastrianism is older than Christianity and Islam Nowruz is noted to be rooted in Zoroastrianism, an ancient Persian religion.

  3. #3

    Nowruz is the Iranian New Year Also known as Persian New Year marks the first month of the Iranian solar calendar.

  4. #4

    Jumping over fire tradition signifies triumph Fire is a symbol of light, goodness, purification, this signifies triumph over evil.

  5. #5

    International Nowruz Day born in 2010 The day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly to strengthen global ties.

Why We Love International Day of Nowruz

  1. A. Fosters inclusion and diversity

    This festival brings spectators and faithful from all over the planet to experience Iranian culture and traditions that create deep understanding, fostering oneness and unity.

  2. B. Urges us to embrace hope

    With the New Year comes a clean slate, the intriguing festival helps us feel alive, opening our eyes to a world of endless possibilities out there as we feel more inspired to launch ahead knowing it will all work out.

  3. C. It’s super fun

    What’s a festival without good old music, dance, and lots to chew? Nowruz festival comes with these and a whole lot more cool activities such as jumping the fire and various tournaments.

International Day of Nowruz dates

YearDateDay
2023March 21Tuesday
2024March 21Thursday
2025March 21Friday
2026March 21Saturday
2027March 21Sunday

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