Nowruz – Iranian New Year!

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Nowruz is the traditional Iranian festival of Spring which starts at the exact moment of the vernal equinox, commencing the start of the Spring. It is considered as the start of the New Year among Iranians all over the world. The name comes from Avestan meaning “New Day/Daylight”.

Nowruz is the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (or northward equinox), which marks the beginning of the spring in the northern hemisphere and usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. The moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and families gather together to observe the rituals.

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Iran was the only country that officially observed the ceremonies of Nowruz. When the Central Asian and Caucasus countries gained independence from the Soviets, they also declared Nowruz as a national holiday. The UN’s General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of Nowruz, describing it as a spring festival of Persian origin which has been celebrated for over 3,000 years.

Nowruz and the Spring Equinox

The first day on the Iranian calendar falls on the March equinox, the first day of spring, around 21 March. At the time of the equinox, the sun is observed to be directly over the equator, and the north and south poles of the Earth lie along the solar terminator, sunlight is evenly divided between the north and south hemispheres. At the exact moment of Iranian New Year, from a scientific perspective of astronomy, the first moment of spring happens. This shows Iranian great knowledge and science.

Earth-Lighting-Equinox

You can observe Atis Sofre-Haft-Seen for 1395 (2016-2017) below:

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Danial Rassaf – Thanks to Wikipedia