The Persian New Year 2018 (or Iranian New Year) that is known as Nowruz or No-Rooz is celebrated worldwide by the Iranian people to mark the beginning of their New Year. It celebrates the rebirth and renewal that is represented by the start of spring. The word Nowruz is a mix of two Persian words “now” that means “new,” and the word “roz” meaning “day.”
This festival of Nowruz is being celebrated since ancient times from thousand years and is deeply rooted in the Zoroastrian tradition. It has also become an important cultural holiday in Iran that spanning many religious traditions. Exact moment of the new year is called Tahvil, the Persian New Year lasts 13 days in the country Iran, which coincides with vernal equinox, therefore there is not a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar and changes every year. In 2018 Norooz occurred on 21th March in Iran.
No-Rooz is considered as the biggest celebration of the year in Iran. Before the festival, they start cleaning their houses and purchase new clothes. But the main ritual of Persian New Year is setting the "Haft Seen" with 7 items, which in ancient times correlated to one of the seven creations and seven holy immortals that were protecting them.
All these seven items start with the letter "S" - Seeb (apple), Serke (vinager), Sabze (green grass), Senjed (a special kind of berry), Samanoo (a meal made out of wheat), Sekke (coin), and Seer (garlic).
At times Somagh (sumak, an Iranian spice) is used instead of Serke. Now a days the Zoroastrians do not have the seven "S"s but instead grow seven seeds to remind themselves that this is the seventh feast of creation. And when the seed sprouts it symbolizes resurrection and eternal life to come.
The 13th day of the new year is called "Sizdah Bedar" and spent mostly outdoors. People will leave their homes to go to the parks or local plains for a festive picnic. It is a must to spend Sizdah Bedar in nature. This is called Sizdah Bedar and is the most popular day of the holidays among children because they get to play a lot! Also in this day, people throw the Sabze away, they believe Sabze should not stay in the house after "Sizdah Bedar". Iranians regard 13th day as a bad omen and believe that by going into the fields and parks they avoid misfortunes. It is also believed that unwed girls can wish for a husband by going into the fields and tying a knot between green shoots, symbolizing a marital bond.
We have below listed some of the common wishes for Norooz, you can use these wished to wish a happy persian new year to your Iranian friends and family.
No-Rooz Mobarak (Happy No-Rooz, Happy New Year);
Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak (Happy New Year to you);
No-Rooz Pirooz (Wishing you a Prosperous New Year);
Sad Saal be in Saal-ha (Wishing you 100 more Happy New Years).
After all No-Rooz is a fun time for all of the Iranians, old and young.