Persian Festivities

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Persian Festivities

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Nowruz

Nowruz (literally "New Day") is the name of the Iranian New Year which is celebrated worldwide by the Iranians peoples, along with some other ethno-linguistic groups, as the beginning of the New Year. It usually occurs on 21 March or the previous or following day.

Haft Seen is the traditional table setting of seven symbolic items traditionally displayed at Nowruz in Iran. Typically, before the arrival of Nowruz, family members gather around a table, with the Haft Seen set on it, and await the exact moment to celebrate the New Year.

In Iran, the Nowruz holidays last thirteen days. On the thirteenth day of the New Year, Iranians leave their houses to join nature and picnic outdoors, as part of the Sizdebedar ceremony.

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Yalda

Iranians around the world celebrate Yalda, which is one of the most ancient Persian festivals. The festival dates back to the time when a majority of Persians were followers of Zoroastrianism prior to the advent of Islam.

Yalda, also referred to as Shab-e Chelleh, is a celebration of winter solstice on December 21-the last night of fall and the longest night of the year. On Yalda festival, Iranians celebrate the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness.

 

Religious Rituals

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad and spiritual leader of the Shi'a people.

Imam Husayn's martyrdom is a sad day for all Muslims especially the Shi'a, who mourn the massacre of their "Prince of Martyrs" and his family about 14 centuries ago. During the first 10 days of Muharram millions of Shi'a (and Sunni) Muslims remember the brutal massacre and strive to feel some of Husayn's pain.

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