Celebrating Nowruz: Traditions of the Persian New Year

You probably know about New Year’s Eve on December 31st, ringing in January 1st with parties and champagne. have you heard of Nowruz? For millions of people, Nowruz marks the start of a New Year and new beginnings. Nowruz, which means “new day” in Persian, is the Persian New Year and begins on the spring equinox, usually around March 21st. People celebrate Nowruz not just in Iran Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Balkans, many other places. Nowruz traditions include jumping over fires, eating special foods, giving gifts, and spending time with loved ones. As you learn about Nowruz, you’ll discover a 3000-year-old celebration of rebirth and renewal that brings families and communities together. From the history to the customs, Nowruz offers a window into Persian culture and a chance to reflect on your hopes for the coming year.

History and Significance of Nowruz

Nowruz signifies the start of spring and the new year in the Persian calendar.

On the Spring Equinox, families gather together and observe several traditions. ###Spring cleaning is a big part of Nowruz preparations. Iranians do a deep clean of their homes, called ‘Khouneh Tekouni’. They buy new clothes and flowers to welcome the New Year.

tradition is setting the Nowruz table, called ‘Haft Sin’. It includes seven items starting with the letter ‘S’: sabzeh (wheat sprouts), samanu (sweet pudding), senjed (dried fruit), sir (garlic), sib (apple), sorkh (vinegar), and sumac (berries). ###These represent renewal, affluence, love, and health.

A popular Nowruz dish is ‘Sabzi Polo Mahi’ – rice with green herbs and fried fish. At the turn of the year, families gather around the Nowruz table, make a wish for the New Year and enjoy festivities.

Nowruz fosters peace, unity, and rejuvenation. It strengthens cultural ties and brings communities together.

Nowruz Traditions and Celebrations

The Persian New Year, Nowruz, is a time for bringing friends and family together to celebrate life, renewal, and new beginnings. ###Spring Cleaning In preparation for Nowruz, Iranians embark on a deep spring cleaning of their homes called khaneh takani. You clean every room top to bottom, open the windows to let in fresh air, and decorate with flowers to welcome the new year.

Setting the Haft-Sin Table

A major part of the Nowruzs celebration is the haft-sin table. This table contains seven items starting with the Persian letter ‘S’: sabzeh (sprouts), samanu (sweet pudding), senjed (dried fruit), seer (garlic), somaq (sumac berries), serkeh (vinegar), and sekke (coins). The items on this table symbolize life, love, beauty, wisdom, prosperity, patience, and wealth in the new year.

Charshanbe Suri

On Nowruzs, families and friends gather together, often wearing new clothes, to share lavish meals, give gifts, dance, play music, and most importantly, wish each other Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak!

With rich traditions, symbolic rituals, time with loved ones, and an abundance of delicious food, Nowruzs is truly a celebration of life and brings light and joy after a long winter.

Symbolic Foods and Rituals of Nowruz

Nowruzs is all about renewal and new beginnings. People follow various customs rituals during the New Year to invite good luck, happiness, prosperity.

Haft Seen Table

In Farsi, the Haft Seen table showcases seven items that all start with the letter ‘S’ to symbolize spring and renewal. Items like sabzeh (sprouts), samanu (sweet pudding), sir (garlic), sib (apple), senjed (lotus tree fruit), somaq (sumac berries), and serkeh (vinegar) adorn the table. Displaying these items is believed to bring good health and fortune in the new year.

Chaharshanbe Suri Fire Festival

People bang pots pans, a symbolic way to drive away evil spirits.

The Haft Mewa or ‘seven fruits’ are placed in a bowl to symbolize nature’s abundance and renewal of life. Dried nuts and fruits like pistachios, almonds, apricots and dates are popular choices. Eating these fruits brings sweetness in the new year.

Gold Coins and Bills

Coins cash are displayed on the Haft Seen table to represent prosperity wealth in the coming year. Some people tape gold coins to doors or place them in pockets to attract money and success.

Spring Cleaning

In preparation for Nowruzs, Iranians do a thorough spring cleaning of their homes called ‘khaneh takani’. Everything is cleaned from top to bottom, debts and bills are paid off, and new clothes are purchased to welcome the new year with a fresh start.

Celebrating Nowruzs with friends and family and observing these meaningful traditions is the perfect way to reflect on the year gone by and look ahead to new beginnings. May your new year be filled with the warmth, love, and abundance symbolized in these rituals.

Nowruz Festivities Around the World

Nowruzs is celebrated in many countries and cultures beyond Iran, where it originally began. Each place has adapted the festival to its own unique traditions.


In Afghanistan, Nowruzs marks the start of the new year and the arrival of spring. People clean and decorate their homes, visit friends and family, and have lavish meals. Buzkashi, a sport where horsemen compete for control of a goat carcass, is played.


For Kurds in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran, Nowruz signifies new beginnings. People clean their homes, put on new clothes, and prepare feasts.


Tajikistan’s Nowruzs celebrations feature colorful displays, traditional foods and cultural events. People construct elaborate pole decorations called palvand, dance, sing and attend concerts. A popular treat is sumanak, a sweet wheat porridge made from sprouted wheat. Families visit elders, exchange gifts, and release doves to symbolize peace.


In Uzbekistan, Nowruzs focuses on renewal and prosperity. Homes are cleaned, new linens and clothes are purchased, and lavish meals are prepared. People visit friends, exchange gifts, and donate to charity. Public events feature traditional music, dance, costumes, and equestrian sports like kokpar, where players compete for control of a goat carcass.

China (Xinjiang region)

Nowruzs traditions are strong in Xinjiang, where many Uyghurs live. Homes are cleaned, colorful decorations are displayed, and communities gather for lively festivals. People wear traditional Uyghur clothing, eat pilaf, samosas and nan bread, and dance to traditional music. Families visit elders, exchange gifts and release doves.

No matter where in the world you celebrate Nowruze, its message of renewal, hope and new beginnings remains the same. May peace, joy and prosperity be with you in the new year!

Nowruz FAQs: Your Top Questions Answered

What exactly is Nowruz?

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the start of the new year in Persian culture. This celebration, known as “new day,” is typically observed on the spring equinox, around March 21st.

Why do we celebrate Nowruz?

Fresh flowers, hyacinths tulips, are brought in.

There are many traditions associated with Nowruze. Homes are decorated with the haft-sin table which includes seven items starting with the letter ‘S’ in Persian, like sabzeh (sprouts), samanu (sweet pudding), and seer (garlic). People jump over bonfires, a tradition called Chaharshanbe Suri, to symbolize purification and renewal. Families gather for a special meal, spend time outdoors, and give gifts. A common Nowruze greeting is “Nowruze Pirooz!” meaning “Wishing you a prosperous Nowruz!”.

How long does Nowruz ?

Nowruzs celebrations typically 2 weeks. The main celebrations happen on the of Nowrusz, festivities continue with visits to friends family, enjoying the outdoors, more feasting. Sizdah Bedar is the 13th day of Nowruzs, symbolizing the conclusion of the new year festivities.Families traditionally go on picnics outdoors to celebrate the arrival of Spring.

Nowruzs is a time for hope, new beginnings and cherishing loved ones.you choose to celebrate, wishing you a happy Nowruze filled with peace, joy prosperity!


there you have it, a quick look at some of the coolest parts of Nowruze. From jumping fires to eating tasty treats, this ancient celebration is going strong. Perhaps you’ll feel motivated to organize your own haft-seen or throw a Nowruz celebration. At the very least, learning about Persian culture and heritage is fascinating. you choose to celebrate, may the new year bring you joy, prosperity new beginnings. Now it’s your turn – what are some of your favorite springtime traditions? The arrival of warmer weather and longer days is something we can all appreciate.

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