Millions of people celebrate Nowruz, or the Iranian New Year, all over the world. Similar to other holidays, it has its unique traditions and rituals that may be regarded as highly interesting for those who are unfamiliar with Persian culture. The purpose of this speech is to inform the audience about three main traditions practiced during this holiday that include the reunion dinner, giving, and dance.
Reunion Dinner: Food for Nowruz
Starting when day and night become equal in length, Nowruz indicated the beginning of spring. It is celebrated not only in Iran but in Afghanistan, India, the Kurdish regions of Turkey and Iraq, and by diasporas across the globe (“Nowruz: Millions celebrate Persian New Year around the world,” 2021). It includes three important traditions – the reunion dinner, giving, and dance. Iranian food may be characterized as deeply flavorful, colorful, fragrant – in the New Year, families are gathered to enjoy wonderful dishes (Rezaian, 2019). In addition, during this holiday, all food has symbolic meaning. For instance, rice with vermicelli noodles eaten on the eve represents the mess of life that should be “eaten” for peace and harmony (Rezaian, 2018). Fresh green herbs symbolize a new day’s freshness, and fish is life, as well. In addition, the ceremonial arrangement of specific items that may include apples, candles, vinegar, eggs, wheatgrass, or a gold coin is Nowruz’s centerpiece (Marples, 2021). There should be seven items, and all should start with the letter S in Farsi.
Giving and Dancing
Another important tradition is giving – families bring traditional gifts to each other and parents give money gifts to children. In addition, children receive small gifts, such as toys, sweets, and colored eggs from Uncle Nowruz, a folk character that may be defined as an Iranian Santa Claus (“Nowruz: Traditions for Persian New Year,” 2018). Finally, Nowruz is associated with music, dancing, poetry, and songs. Traditionally, people celebrate outside, on the street, where they organize, join, or watch multiple performances.
To conclude, as mentioned at the beginning, every holiday has its traditions, and the Iranian New Year is not an exception. People celebrate it with traditional food, giving gifts, dancing, songs, and music. They believe that with the incoming of spring, Nowruz indicates the beginning of a new life. This holiday is full of rituals and symbols that are believed to bring wealth, wellbeing, and peace.
Marples, M. (2021). What is Nowruz? Persian New Year traditions and food explained. CNN Health. Web.
Nowruz: Millions celebrate Persian New Year around the world. (2021). BBC News. Web.
Nowruz: Traditions for Persian New Year. (2018). The Iran Primer. Web.
Rezaian, J. (2019). A new tradition for an ancient Iranian holiday: Nowruz resolutions. The Washington Post. Web.
Rezaian, Y. (2018). I’ll miss the bonfire, but my Nowruz will taste like home. The Washington Post. Web.