Nowrooz

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Happy New Year (Nowrooz)

Since 8699 years ago, as shown in Zoroastrian calendar, Iranians Have had their national festivities on the arrival of each of the four seasons of the year, but the greatest of these is the beginning of spring. March 21 to 22. This is our new year, and it is as old and magnificent as the history of Iran itself. Nowrooz, as it called, means New Day. It begins the moment the sun passes the sign Aries in the vernal equinox in March. In ancient times the New Day celebration continued for forty days, and entire time was spent in music, dancing, games, and visiting. They were days of great happiness for all but those who where in morning, and everyone was excused from paying any taxes during those holidays. Today the celebration lasts for only thirteen days, but many of the old customs still remain. During the month preceding Nowrooz a thorough cleaning takes place inside and outside the house. The furniture is rearranged and all the carpets are washed and cleaned. Garden pools are cleaned, and new flowers and plants replenish the flower beds. On the kitchen, too, there is a great activity. The ladies attend to the making of a multitude of sweet bread for the New Day is prepared by women specialists, who come to stay in the houses for several days and nights to make it. History relates that in ancient Persia, at the first moment of the transition to the New Year, all the products of the earth available in the country had to be presented of the earth available in the country had to be presented to the shah, king by all the different classes of the people in a special ceremony.

The most beautiful girl of the court, magnificently costumed, presented the shah with a large tray of gold on which was placed a torn of all the commodities of the country. At the moment, By the order of the shah, the rubies, pearls, diamonds, and other precious gems which had been hug in huge bunches on the cypress and date trees surrounding the reception chamber were presented to the people. the trees themselves had been covered from top to bottom with large leaves of gold. By the same token, presentations were made to the grandees, nobles, and landowners by their subjects. This official royal checking of the economic situation of the country became a national ceremony of Nowrooz and is continued today in all families.

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