The vernal equinox -- when the sun is directly over a specific point on the equator before moving north -- is at 11:49 tonight, the earliest arrival of astronomical spring in 124 years. Why so early? It's complicated, related to the leap year of 2000 and daylight saving time.
NoRuz, Nowruz, Navroz, or NoRooz, is the first day of the Zoroastrian Calendar falling on Hormuzd Ruz (Day) and Fravardin Mah (Month) and signals the start of the New Year. It is also the Great Zoroastrian spring religious observance and festival celebrated in conjunction with the Spring Equinox. ‘No’ means new, ‘Roz’ or ‘Ruz’ means day, so NoRuz means New Day! It is the 7 th Zoroastrian festival associated with the creation of Fire. The physical form of Fire represents the Amesha Spenta - Asha Vahishta and stands for truth, order and righteousness. According to tradition, Noruz is believed to have been founded by our Prophet Zarathushtra whom it is believed received his first revelation from Ahura Mazda on this day.
The NoRuz celebration itself begins at the exact time of the spring equinox and lasts for 13 days. This year NoRuz celebrations will begin on March 20 th at 12:00am and will last until April 1st, 2020.
To begin with, a fire or a divo (lamp), or a candle is lit; prayers are said; members of the family round the table greet each other by sprinkling a bit of rose water in each other’s
palms and showing each other a mirror while saying “Roosh o khash beh” which in daari (a traditional language used in the Zoroastrian villages of Iran) means “may you be bright and happy”. Traditionally the young children enjoy doing this ritual of offering rose water to the elders first and give each family member a small sweet to eat.
Afterwards, everyone shares a meal, eats sweets and exchange greetings and gifts with family and friends.
Here are 7 essential ways to celebrate NoRuz:
1. Clean your house – embark on a spring cleaning a few days before NoRuz sets in.
2. Paint eggs with bright colors – often the highlight for most kids!
3. Lay a Haft Sheen Table (seen here) right before the time NoRuz sets in
4. Light a divo and perform the ritual prayers.
5. Wear new clothes, create new beginnings, renew friendships and start afresh.
6. Visit family and friends. Send greetings far and wide! Exchange gifts. The traditional way to greet someone is to say: “NoRuz Piroozbad” or “NoRuz Mubarak” or “Norooz Khojasteh Baad”.
7. Cook and eat delicious food - traditionally includes a fish dish, a rice dish and some sweet dishes like Falooda, Shir-berenj (sweet rice pudding), Ravo (sweet semolina pudding) and sweet yogurt.
We wish all our readers the very best in health and happiness throughout the year, a year without the fear of the corona virus. Amen
Nowruz is once again upon us.
The rebirth of the nature reminds us to re evaluate our lives and realign ourselves
with all that is right and good since that is the only way to happiness.
May we succeed in finding what is right individually and as a community.