Happy Persian New Year
Nowruz is a traditional festival of spring; it starts on the day of the vernal equinox, and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The name ‘Nowruz’ comes from the ancient Avestan language meaning ‘new day’ and the festival symbolises the rebirth of nature, new life and new beginnings.
The word Nowruz (Novruz, Navruz, Nooruz, Nevruz, Nauryz), means new day; its spelling and pronunciation may vary by country. It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities.
Celebrating Nowruz means the affirmation of life in harmony with nature, awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and a solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.
The precise moment when the Earth's equator passes through the centre of the Sun's disk, making the length of the day and the night exactly equal, is calculated every year and this dictates when the festival is celebrated. Usually, the equinox happens sometime between 19th March and 21st March.
Although Nowruz has Persian and Zoroastrian origins, the festival has been celebrated for over 3000 years by a diverse array of communities. Today, 300 million people celebrate the festival worldwide.
New Year is often a time when people wish for prosperity and new beginnings. An important tradition practised during this time is the gathering around ‘the Table’, decorated with objects that symbolize purity, brightness, livelihood and wealth, to enjoy a special meal with loved ones. Gifts are exchanged, especially for children, featuring objects made by artisans.
In 2010, the UN recognized 21 March as the International Day of Nowruz. Here is the UN Secretary-General’s, António Guterres, message for 2021:
Each year, Nowruz marks a new beginning. Last year, the Nowruz celebration coincided with the early days of an unprecedented and devastating global pandemic.
This year, the Nowruz spirit is more vital than ever. Solidarity between communities and generations is more crucial than ever. Our promise in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind is more essential than ever.
Today, we can start to see light at the end of the tunnel. As the world comes together to defeat COVID-19, Nowruz serves as an inspiration to recover and rebuild in a more just and durable way, in harmony with nature.
I offer my best wishes to everyone marking Nowruz. May this day advance happiness, health and harmony to all.”
The organization for Defending Victims of Violence wish you all a prosperous, healthy and happy year. May the New Year brings us peace, love, and solidarity.