Happy Moments of the Iranian New Year (Know Rooz)


M. Saadat Noury
by M. Saadat Noury

Fifty days after the ancient holiday of Sadeh, the feast of Know Rooz is celebrated in Iranian culture. Know Rooz is perhaps the most celebrated Iranian holiday. It is observed on the first day of spring, which coincides with March 20 or 21. All Iranians participate in this celebration regardless of their religious beliefs. This holiday, which is in honor of spring, symbolizes rebirth and renewal and thus appropriately marks the Iranian New Year. It can last anywhere from 14 days (first 2 weeks of Farvardin, the first month of Iranian calendar) to 20 days (from Chaar Shanbeh Souri in Esfand, the last month of Iranian calendar, to the end of 13-Bedar, the 13th day of Farvardin).

In Persian Mythology: The celebration of Know Rooz has its roots in Ancient Iran, and various foundation myths exist for Know Rooz in Iranian mythology. According to the epic book of Shahnameh, the tradition of Know Rooz was created by legendary King Jamshid. After a series of harsh and severe winters, King Jamshid celebrated the arrival of spring for his people, the Iranians, with great abundance and joy and thus the celebration of Know Rooz became an annual event. It is said that King Jamshid’s rule which lasted for several hundred years, was a glorious one of prosperity and happiness. Know Rooz did not end with Jamshid’s passing, but rather was strengthened through the centuries to become the all encompassing and glorious celebration of rebirth and renewal that it is today.

In Different Faiths: In the Zoroastrian tradition, the seven most important Zoroastrian festivals are the six seasonal festivals named as the feasts of proper season (in Persian: Gahambar- haa or Gahanbaran) and Know Rooz. The late Professor Mary Boyce (1920-2006) who was a British scholar of Persian language and a recognized authority on Zoroastrianism noted that, "It seems a reasonable surmise that Know Rooz, the holiest of all the seven most important Zoroastrian festivals, was founded by Zoroaster himself”.

The Jewish festival of Purim is probably adopted from the Iranian New Year of Know Rooz. It should be noted that Purim is a festival that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people living throughout the ancient Persian Empire. Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar or it is celebrated on the 15th day of a month known as Shushan Purim. Know Rooz is also a holy day for Ismaili Muslims, Alawites (The prominent minority religious group in Syria), Alevis (The Turkish religious sect), and some other faiths.

In Scientific Records: The famous Iranian scientist and historian Abu Rayhan Biruni (973- 1048) in his book of Understanding Astrology (in Persian and Arabic: Ketaab-e Tafhim va Sanaa at-e Tanjeem) provides a description of the Calendars of various groups of people such as Persians, Arabs, Jews, Greeks and others. In the section on the Persian Calendar, he mentions Know Rooz, Sadeh, Tiregan, Mehregan, Gahanbaran, Farvardegaan, Spendarmaz and several other festivals. As Abu Rayhan Biruni noted, “It is the belief of the Persian people that Know Rooz marks the first day when the universe started its motion”.

Sites of Observances: Know Rooz is principally observed and celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. It is also observed in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Caucasus, Crimea, Georgia, India, Iraq, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Pakistan, Serbia, Syria, Uzbekistan, and many other parts of the world.

On the List of Recognitions: It is most likely that due to the refreshing and inspiring moments of the first day of spring or Know Rooz, March 21 has been named as the World Poetry Day since 1999. The naming was declared by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world and to give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements. On the occasion of World Poetry Day enjoy a few moments of the feast of Iranian New Year reading some poetry as presented in the Chain of Poems on Know Rooz (in Persian & English).

During the meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations, held between 28 September and 2 October 2009 in Abu Dhabi, Know Rooz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Later, the United Nations General Assembly in 2010 recognized March 21 as the International Day of Know Rooz, describing it a spring festival of Persian origin which has been celebrated for over 3000 years. And just recently, on 15 March 2010 the United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution by which it recognized the cultural and historical significance of Know Rooz.

Enjoy every moments of this great holiday, and as an Irish blessing says, “May your pocket be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night. May the Lord keep you in His Hand and never close His Fist too tight”.

Happy Know Rooz!

Manouchehr Saadat Noury, PhD


Read more about the Joyful Moments in MISSING MOMENTS 


more from M. Saadat Noury
M. Saadat Noury

Happy New Year to all

by M. Saadat Noury on

This is a note to thank all commentators who have provided valuable insight, support, and remarkable views and comments. Best Wishes and Happy New Year to all.


نوروز is نوروز The correct spelling of


Every other spelling in English, or else in other نوروز languages, are just other cultures' take on   

In English, I will adopt Nowruz as the English version just to be consistent نوروز  with the UN and the US congress recognition of.

As Homan said, نوروزتان خجسته هرروزتان نوروز باد

Thanks for the info Doc.


May I wish all.........

by Latina on

saal e no mobaarek!

 I hope that I said it right for once.  :o)


[“May your pocket be

by capt_ayhab on

[“May your pocket be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck
pursue you each morning and night. May the Lord keep you in His Hand and
never close His Fist too tight”.]

NouRouz is not about heavy pocketful of money nor it is commercialized as lets say Xmas[ not at least in any other place than LA].

So please guys, do not turn this one genuine mostly sacred of all traditions into POCKET FILLING venture.




Ms. Ladan

by capt_ayhab on

[I also think "Know Rooz" is more correct because it's phonetically spelled and easier to pronounce.]

Why and under what phonetic or grammatical rule?

Sorry banoo[due respect] but [I THINK] does not cut it unless the [I] you are referring to happens to be a linguistic expert recognized by the proper scholars.



That Blessing

by goltermeh on

“May your pocket be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night. May the Lord keep you in His Hand and never close His Fist too tight”.

I loved it.


Thank you for sharing

by goltermeh on

And Happy Iranian New Year (Know Rooz).

Ladan Farhangi

About Know Rooz

by Ladan Farhangi on

I also think "Know Rooz" is more correct because it's phonetically spelled and easier to pronounce.
What's Nowruz or Nowrouz or Nowruzz? NOW as in just this time, or right now? and Ruzz? as in rustic, rust, rush?  Norooz, Neorooz, Noerooz, Nourooz, and something alike have a body of NEGATION and denial and do not look good terms for our joyful fevstival of the New Year.
"Know Rooz" can be read and prounounced more correctly, and it looks beautiful.

Ladan Farhangi

Hi Sir

by Ladan Farhangi on

Thanks for your very interesting and informative article. Happy Know Rooz to you as well.



by capt_ayhab on

I really am not getting this Know[Bedan]Rouz. But what ever rings your bell sir.

NouRoozat khojasteh


bajenaghe naghi

Thank you

by bajenaghe naghi on

for this informative blog and happy Know Rooz to you too. :-)

Rad Lanjani

Happy Free Know Rooz!

by Rad Lanjani on

Good feature article. Thank you for sharing info.

Rad Lanjani

ایرانیان نوروز را با پول خریدند

Rad Lanjani

 ایرانیان نوروز را با پول خریدند و آزادش کردند!. بدین صورت که در دوران معاویه‌ابن ابی سفیان، که میهن ما در تصرف اعراب بود، آنگونه که «جرجی زیدان» نوشته است، ده ملیون درهم نقره دادند تا موفق به برگزاری‌ی نوروز شدند. آنان به اشغالگران گفتند که از رسوم نوروزی یکی این باشد که در جشن نوروز بزرگان هدیه بستانند، بنی‌امیه نیز که در مال‌اندوزی و اکتساب ثروت شهره بودند، دریافت هدیه را پذیرفتند و به واقع ایرانیان نوروز را خریدند

Source: Click here

Peter Pan

یکی‌ میمرد ز درد بینوایی...

Peter Pan


درست میگویید. ما ملتی هستیم که همه مان درست میگوئیم. سال نو


Homan Mohabadi Ebrahimi

I do care!

by Homan Mohabadi Ebrahimi on

می گویند پروفسور ادوارد برون (محقق  و جهانگرد انگلیسی ) گفته و یا نوشته بود که بهترین راه برای تحقیر یا تضعیف هر ملتی نادرست خواندن و نا درست نوشتن نام های مورد علاقه آن ملت است و با استفاده از ا ین شیوه ما انگلیسی ها بسیار سود جسته ایم. شاید بر همین اساس است که آنها دوست دارند قندهار را کندهار و نوروز را ناروز بگویند

Ghandehaar is right/Kandehar is wrong AND Nowruz, Norooz, Noe-Rooz, Neo-Rooz, etc. are wrong/Know Rooz is right

Peter Pan

Happy Noe-Rooz

by Peter Pan on

I just dropped by to wish you the best of times, and humbly remind you of the fact that a meaningful English word such as "know" is not as suitable as one might think. But who cares? let it be, write it whatever way you wish. JUST DON'T LET IT DIE OUT.



Dear Dr Noury

by All-Iranians on

Thank you for your another patriotic article. Happy Know Rooz to you too!

Homan Mohabadi Ebrahimi

Dear Dr Saadat Noury

by Homan Mohabadi Ebrahimi on

نوروزتان خجسته هرروزتان نوروز باد

Homan Mohabadi Ebrahimi

Happy Know Rooz to you too

by Homan Mohabadi Ebrahimi on

Your article is a masterpiece. Thank you.