ARY Special

Happy Navroz to all!

Navroz is an event which is celebrated throughout the world on 21st March annually.

Navroz  is the combination of two Persian words, ‘Nov’ meaning new and ‘Roz’ meaning day. When combined, these two words mean ‘new day’. Though no agreed opinion is present as to the advent of this event but most people agree that Navroz  used to be a religious event for the Parsi people. On this day, devotees of the parsi religion used to dance and indulge in merrymaking to celebrate this religious event. According to another tradition, in March, specifically the 21st of March marks the beginning of Spring culture, hence the commencement of this new season is celebrated. Since on 21st March, the sun completes one whole cycle around the earth and a solar year is completed. Due to this, it is their belief that once the universe was created, it was on this day that the planets started orbiting hence it is also referred to as the day when Earth was created.

According to yet another tradition, hundreds of years ago there existed a tyrant king known as ‘Zahaak’ in Kurdistan, whose shoulders grew venomous snakes. These snakes consumed human brains for food. On a daily basis, Zahaak used to kill two people and feed his snakes their brains. In this nation, there also existed a man by the name of ‘Kaava’ who had three sons. The king killed two of his sons and fed their brains to his snakes. However, when Zahaak wanted to kill his thrid son as well, Kaava refused to permit it and spoke out openly against this practice, advising his people to not obey Zahaak. In response to his rebellion, Kaava was asked by his nation to lead them. Kaava accepted and after organizing a huge gathering, proceeded to march with his people towards Zahaak’s fort. Upon reaching the fort, he broke its door and killed Zahaak therein. Since there was no effective means of communication at his disposal during those days, Kaava climbed tall dunes and lit fires there to signal the good news to his people and started dancing. Hence, due to this practice, every year Kurds celebrate Navroz as an independence day. Histroy charts also indicate that when renowned King Jamshed officially established the Sultanate, he marked the day of Nowroz as a new day. Hence, every day this day was celebrated with zeal and zest. Nauroz is marked from the 1st-13th of ‘Farvardin’. Farvardin is the first month of the solar calendar and is derived from the Parsi word ‘farvarseesh’ which means the beginning of a new life after death.

Renowned Irani scholar Dr.Ali Shariyati states that Navroz is the day of the universe’s celebration, the world’s happiness and birth date of the sun and the sky. For Iran, a table of ‘Haft Seen’ is set in commemorating Navroz. haft means seven and Seen means those dishes whose name commence with the letter s. All these dishes that are prepared have a special connection to them. Some dishes emphasize the beauty of life, others symbolize the after life to come whilst others highlight prosperity, happiness and health. On this day, various people within Iran and from all over the world travel to ‘Shiraz Isfahan’. Apart from Iran, there are several nations who celebrate Nowroz officially such as Afghanistan, Albania, Kosovo, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. In Pakistan’s southern areas such as Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral, Nowroz is celebrated with religious reverence and traditional zeal.

Navroz has become an internationally celebrated festival as in 2010 the United Nations recognized it as an international festival also. Even the Canadian parliament on 30th march 2009 recognized Navroz as an event in their calendar. Following in the same footsteps, American lawmakers also recognized Navroz the cultural importance and historic relevance of the event.

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