Springing into the Persian New Year


Melody Tavallaee

Wednesday is not only the first day of spring but also Persian New Year. For many students on campus this means many festivities and spending time with their family.

Melody Tavallaee, Managing Editor

Wednesday marks the beginning of spring and the beginning of a new year for Persians as Persian New Year, or Norooz in Farsi, is being celebrated by Iranians worldwide as the start of a new chapter.

“Before Norooz, or the Persian New Year, we usually do spring cleaning so that we can start of the new year fresh,” senior Neema Nikakhtar said. “We set up the Haft Seen table which includes several items like sabzeh which is like a tall wheat grass, colored eggs, goldfish, sweets, and fruits.”

Celebration for the holiday begins on the last Tuesday night of the Persian year through Chaharshanbe Soori, the Persian Fire Jumping Festival.

“Before the actual day of Persian New Year we have Chaharshanbe Soori which basically means Festival of Fire,” senior Liliana Monabat said. “We jump over the fire to get rid of all the bad of the last year to have a fresh start for the new year.”

With several students on campus of Persian heritage, the holiday provides them and Iranians all around the world the chance to carry a part of their heritage with them no matter where they go.

“I think celebrating the new year is important because it lets us keep a piece of Iran with us and it just reminds us of everything,” sophomore Neekie Ansari said. “Honestly it’s something that’s fun for everyone and just makes us feel like we have our own Persian New Year.”

Along with linking Iranian Americans to their cultural background, the new year also unifies them with other members of the Persian community.

“My favorite part about Norooz is the parties during the holiday because I get to see a lot of my friends and family that come from out of the state or even the country,” Nikakhtar said. “The food during Norooz is also really great as my family puts a lot of time and effort preparing the food to make sure we start the new year off full and happy.”

Living in a country full of other cultures can make it difficult to practice many customs, but Norooz serves as a reminder for many to embrace where they come from and celebrate their heritage.

“It’s important for us to celebrate in order to stay connected to our roots which we sometimes forget as Americans,” senior Daria Nikourazm said. “For me personally, celebrating Iranian new year means being with family, fresh beginnings, and becoming a better person year after year. Since it’s spring, I think the new year really feels like a fresh start.”

The celebrations come to an end through the tradition of Sizdah Bedar, a day spent outdoors with family and friends.

“Honestly, getting to spend time with my family is my favorite part. Our new year has two other days that take part to it, Chaharshanbe Soori and Sizdah Bedar which is more like a Nature Celebration day,” Monabat said. “It’s celebrated on the first day spring as a symbolism of a new beginning and fresh start unlike American New Year which is celebrated on the last month of the year.”