Friday, March 21, 2014

Are you wondering about Norouz etiquette?

Between March 15-April 1st; you are likely to witness a certain level of excitement in your Iranian (or other Persian) friends and colleagues. It is because their new year starts at the moment of Spring Equinox. The equinox fall on March 20 or 21st, and this day is called Norouz, nowrouz or Norooz. Since 2010, this day has made it to the UNESCO's list of world's cultural heritages.  This is a very old tradition; at least 25 centuries old, judged by the sculptures in Persepolis.

Some of you might wonder what you should do or say on this occasion. First, note that Norouz is NOT a religious ceremony. It is a celebration of nature. Therefore, it is an occasion for EVERYONE to celebrate and to cherish.

This is a very big deal for Persians; and it would be well appreciated if you acknowledge the occasion; and join in the festivities.

What I love most about Norooz is that it is a day that you are supposed to let the grudges go; you let the sorrow and pain go and make a pledge to do well and to intend well.

On this day, we don't exchange gifts (although the elders in the family would give a few crisp notes to the youngsters), so if you are invited to a party, you don't have to bring anything. But parties are not common either. All we do is that we pay a visit to each other, short visits, enough to have a couple of cookies, a cup of tea, some fruit; and then move on to the next visit. We have to visit as many friends and family as possible; starting by age or those who are recently (less than a year) bereaved. 

This is a really simple ceremony; simple and ancient.

Join in the mood; smile, laugh with them, be happy and positive on this day, and wish your Persian friends a "Happy New Year". As simple as it is, Norouz is a HUGE deal to them, in meaning and concept.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy 1393!

Well, I made a little error decorating Ash Reshteh, and thought it's year 1394!!

It's quite funny that for an entire year, I have been thinking that I am one year older than what I actually am!

I pray for peace.

This is a year that I am very optimist. Not just about Iran, but about the whole world. I think we are AWAKENING. We have avoided many wars; and we don't seem to be so war- and capitalism-prone anymore. There is always a bright side to all darkness. And this is the lesson I have learned since my last year's horrible adventures, which also ended at about this time last year.

Life is only going to be exciting.