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History of Norooz, The Persian New Year

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In harmony with the rebirth of nature, the Persian New Year Celebration, or Norooz (نوروز), always begins on the first day of spring. Norooz ceremonies with thousands of years history are symbolic representations of two ancient concepts – the End and the Rebirth; or Good and Evil.

With various local pronunciations and spellings, meaning ‘New Day’) is the traditional Iranian new year holiday celebrated by Iranian people and initiated in Ancient Iran. Apart from Iran, the celebration has spread in many other parts of the world (specially the parts which belonged to the Greater Iran) including parts of West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Northwestern China, the Caucasus, between kurdish population of Turkey, the Crimea, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the Iranian year. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (the start of spring in the northern hemisphere), which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed.

The term Nowruz first appeared in Persian records in the second century AD, but it was also an important day during the time of the Achaemenids (c. 648-330 BC), where kings from different nations under the Persian empire used to bring gifts to the emperor (Shahanshah) of Persia on Nowruz.

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