Nowruz is widely celebrated in Iran’s neighboring countries Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

Nowruz is widely celebrated in Iran’s neighboring countries Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey. It is also observed by communities in countries as far away as Georgia, Albania, Kosovo, China and India.

Nowruz festivities last for two weeks and are preceded by “Chaharshanbeh Suri” or the Festival of Fire during which people make bonfires and jump over them. The symbolic tradition is meant to trade one’s ailments and problems with the flames’ warmth, energy and power of life.

The Persian New Year comes with its own special rituals. Families take advantage of the two-week holidays to join together for house visits and outdoor fun events.

One of the special observances of the occasion is the table setting known as Haft Sin, which means the seven S’s in Persian. The table features seven items all of which start with the letter S in Persian. Families gather around the table and pray while waiting for the exact moment of the spring equinox. These symbolic items represent health, prosperity, longevity, reproduction and happiness for the family members throughout the year.

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