Warm Wishes for Nowruz

Mar 20, 20110 comments

This year as Nowruz (literally “New Day”) approaches, the Iranian community and its friends are once again gearing-up for the season’s festivities. Nowruz has traditionally been a time for frantic spring-cleaning, extended family, gift giving, and an over-indulgence in Persian sweets. But above all else – the basis of Nowruz hinges on the renewal of hope. Originally a Zoroastrian festival, Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated across many countries, including in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kashmir, and Kyrgyzstan. Nowruz also remains a significant day for Sufis, Ismailis, Alawites, Alevis, and members of the Bahá’í Faith. Last year, the UN General Assembly officially recognized “the International Day of Nowruz”, with the UN Secretary-General adding, “I hope countries and people around the world will draw on this festival’s history and customs to promote harmony with the natural world and foster global peace and goodwill… from repainting homes to visiting friends to preparing symbolic meals, are infused with a spirit of renewal and can inspire not only those conducting them but all people.” Over their haft-sins (literally “seven S’s”), Iranians contemplate the last year, remember loved ones lost, and enjoy the rebirth that accompanies spring. The haft-sin includes seven elements representing life and symbolizing everything from rebirth, to wealth, to health, to age and patience, to love. Add Green Fish! Many continue to use this opportunity to commemorate the strength of the Iranian people by including small tokens of support on their haft-sins, including green ribbons and eggs, messages of solidarity, and even pictures of Iran’s brave activists, human rights defenders, and those lost to government brutality. Last year, U4I posted some solidarity materials to include in your haft-sin; they can be found here.  Amnesty International is also encouraging activists worldwide to send Nowruz greetings to various prisoners of conscience and their families in Iran. Learn more about Amnesty’s Nowruz action here. U4I would like to extend a heartfelt greeting to all those celebrating Nowruz. Over the past year, the Iranian community has moved much closer to truly reflecting the most important qualities of the new year: harmony, respect, patience, hope, and love. As we move into the Spring season, we hope the still emerging unity amongst Iranians and their allies will not only be renewed, but continue to sprout and grow.

To all our friends and allies: Eid-eh Shomah Mobarak! Happy New Year! May this coming year be one of hope, peace, and harmony for Iranians and their friends worldwide.