A set of ancient rituals and traditional
customs to mark the commencement of Iranian New Year, “Nowrouz” was
officially recognized as an international holiday by the UN General
Assembly last month.
The UN’s decision to glorify Nowrouz as
an international holiday, which some 300 million people observe
annually, immersed Iranians all over the world in a wave of joviality
and excitement, intensively revitalizing their sense of national honor.
The undisputable majority of those who observe Nowrouz live in Iran;
however, Persian speaking and non-Persian speaking people in
Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan
celebrate Nowrouz as well.
Nowrouz (meaning “new day” in the
Persian language) is a 2-week-long festivity which starts on March 21st
and marks the beginning of the new solar year according to the Jalali
calendar, invented by Khayyam. Hakim Omar Khayyam, whose famous
quatrains were proficiently translated by Edward FitzGerald and widely
read throughout the U.S. and Europe over the past 150 years, was an
eleventh century Iranian polymath, poet, mathematician, physician and
astronomer who reformed the outdated style of the Iranian calendar and
adopted a new system for the computation of days and months based on the
actual solar transit. The new calendar was first adopted on March 15,
1079 and is s… >>>