Nowruz (from Persian: "New Day") is the start day of the agricultural New Year according to the solar calendar for representatives of Iranian and Turkic nationalities. This big spring holiday is a symbol of the awakening of nature, the birth of a new life, as well as a new stage in the formation and preservation of existing human values. How is Navruz celebrated in Russia and what date will it be celebrated in 2020? What traditions, rituals and customs should be observed on this day?
The history of the celebration
The holiday of Navruz, which arose more than seven thousand years ago, is of Zoroastrian origin and is closely connected with the cult of the Sun, which was previously considered a deity. Its history began with the mention in the holy book of fire worshipers "Avesta", where Navruz symbolized a new life on earth. According to the writing of the book, all life on the planet appeared overnight in six varieties. These were:
- the fire
In the USSR, Navruz was not celebrated at all and only with its collapse did four republics establish this holiday as a state holiday. Since 2009, Nowruz has been included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. In 2010, this holiday became international, according to the UN General Assembly convention.
The name of the holiday itself can be pronounced and written differently depending on the geographical area where it is celebrated, and this is more than 20 world states with a population of about 300 million people.
When will it be in 2020?
According to tradition, the date when Navruz is celebrated coincides with the day of the vernal equinox. Celebrations begin at a specific time of the day, which is determined to the minute and vary in time depending on the region. In 2020, this celebration starts on Friday March 20 at 07:00 Moscow time.
The duration of the holidays ranges from one (in Russia) to three (in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) and even thirteen (in Iran).
At the state level, Navruz is noted in a number of Central Asian countries that used to be part of the USSR:
as well as in many other countries of the world, in particular such as: Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Macedonia ... But in Syria this holiday is prohibited for certain reasons.
Preparation for the celebration
In some nationalities, on the last Wednesday before the celebration, a rite of purification by fire is performed. In a forest glade or in a field, a large fire is lit, through which a person should jump seven times. An alternative to this action was jumping over seven small bonfires once.
On the night before the holiday, a ritual of fumigating a living room is performed with the help of a smoking branch of an arch, which helps to get rid of all evil spirits (evil spirits) in the house.
It is also necessary to clean the house and throw away from it all unnecessary things that have accumulated a lot of negative energy in a year.
Of great importance was water, which, according to legend, should wash away all the negative. Therefore, during the week before the onset of the celebration, there were customs, which were to mop up all dirty clothes and bedding. It was also worth jumping over sources with running water in order to get rid of last year's sins.
Spiritual purity is also important, which consists in finding reconciliation with enemies, repenting of committed sins, paying off debts and preparing ritual dishes.
Tradition of celebration
According to ancient legend, the whole family should be together on the holiday of Navruz. All those who could not arrive in time to their native estate, seven more ribbons will wander in a foreign land.
The tradition of the festive table set for the occasion is called Haft Sin. It obliges the presence on this day of a treat of seven basic foods. Here they are:
|Product||original name||Meaning (Symbolism)|
|An Apple||Seb||Health, Beauty|
|Sprouted grain||Sabza||Success, joy and goodness|
|Garlic||Sire||Protection, abstinence from violence|
|Vinegar||Serke||Consent, Patience and Humility|
It is noteworthy that all these products begin with the fifteenth letter of the Persian alphabet - "C", which is also called "solar".
In some regions, the obligatory attributes (decorations) of the festive feast are: a mirror and candles, which together symbolize protection from negativity and the completion of everything old. Also on the table are the holy books (Quran) or simply literary works that are symbolic for the people.
A very popular holiday is the distribution of gifts. At the same time, there is a tradition for the elders to present presents to the younger ones. Parents give children presents, regardless of their age, grandparents honor their grandchildren, and business leaders give gifts to their employees.
The festive table in Navruz should always be rich in refreshments, that is, there must be an abundance of dishes on the table, the dominant of which are prepared with lamb or chicken meat with the addition of a variety of spices and herbs, as well as many sweets. The main dishes of the celebration are:
- Sumalak, which is prepared from sprouted wheat grains with the addition of flour, nuts and cottonseed oil. As a result, after several hours of cooking, a dish similar to halva is obtained.
- Sumbusa - pastries with meat filling in the form of pies of various shapes.
- Coluche or Sheckerbur - sweet cookies with nut filling.
- Sabzi Polow - pilaf with herbs.
Strict observance of ritual treats according to legend will help protect the house from the penetration of evil spirits into it. And a person can get luck and well-being only if he tastes all the dishes presented on the festive table.
Where is celebrated in Russia?
At the state level, Navruz is noted in such regions of Russia as
The largest festivities are held in Kazan, Ufa and Yoshkar-Ola on the main squares of these administrative and territorial centers. Culinary battles, sports, festive markets, competitions and music festivals are held there.
In addition to festivities and fun on this day, it was customary to start gardening: planting young trees, planting potatoes and grown tomato seedlings.
Nowruz in Moscow
The capital of our country, where this holiday has been celebrated for several years at one of the largest exhibition venues, does not lag behind the regions. Nowruz in Moscow is celebrated on the territory of VDNH, and the main organizer of the event is the Tajik diaspora in the capital. Exhibition halls of applied arts and crafts of Eastern peoples are located here, as well as restaurant courtyards of national cuisines. In addition, at VDNH annually held:
- pilaf festival,
- needlework master classes,
- parade of national costumes
The finale of the celebration is usually a large gala concert and a theatrical show program.
It is noteworthy that in the past 2019, the holiday was visited by about 50 thousand guests and residents of the capital.
In addition to the usual greetings, such as "Navruz Muborak Baud!", Which is translated from the Tajik language means "Happy Navruz!" or the Uzbek “Navruz Bayrami Kutlug Bulsin”, which translates as “May the holiday of Navruz be happy,” modern original congratulations appeared on this celebration in poetic form. Just such a format of congratulations is best sent to all your friends in the form of SMS messages. Here is one of them:
Take from me
Congratulations to Navruz.
Let Navruz come to your house
With a very valuable, good load!
The load is rich in joy
And love and patience
And great friends
And wonderful mood!
Both wealth and skill
Let put in this load
The lightest, the most glorious,
Our good holiday - Navruz!
Nowruz - as a big and bright holiday, based on love and wisdom, unites entire nations and brings together relatives and friends who are not located, always strive to get home that day. This celebration has nothing to do with politics or religion, so Navruz is perceived by everyone every time as just a celebration of fun, joy and friendship.