We are honored and excited to be ringing in Nowruz with Child Foundation staff, sponsors, donors, supporters, and sponsored families. Sometimes called the Persian New Year or Iranian New Year, Nowruz is the first day of spring in our hemisphere and an ancient festival. It’s a time of year to restart, renew, and reset—which we all need during these trying times.
Nowruz is a celebratory time that has many diverse variations across different cultures. But ultimately, the beauty of this holiday is its ability to bring us together and unite a sometimes fragmented world.
If you’re unfamiliar with Nowruz and the traditions, read on to learn more about the holiday and how it’s celebrated around the world. Below we’ll talk about how Child Foundation celebrates Nowruz, and our recent virtual evening of entertainment and raising money for the universal cause of children’s education.
What is Nowruz?
“Nowruz” (pronounced [nowˈɾuːz]; meaning ‘new day’) is the Farsi word for the festival marking the beginning of the new year for millions of people around the world. With Persian and Zoroastrian roots, and it’s thought to be at least 3,000 years old. Nowruz is one of the most important holidays in Iran every year, but it’s also celebrated in many other parts of the world, including the Black Sea Basin, South Asia, Central Asia, and the Balkans, not to mention communities in Europe, North America, and elsewhere.
Nowruz is celebrated on the first day of the Iranian calendar—the spring equinox (aka vernal equinox), which falls around March 21st each year. At the moment the equinox occurs, the center of the sun sits directly above the equator. It’s also the time of year when daylight and nighttime each last 12 hours. According to the Persian calendar, on Nowruz this year, we will enter the year 1400!
What is the significance of Nowruz?
Nowruz is a meaningful and symbolic time of year for many. It signifies renewal, new beginnings, hope, and forgiveness. It’s also a time traditionally spent doing spring and house cleaning. As with many holidays, a central component of Nowruz is the gathering and celebrating of family, friends, and loved ones. Visiting family is at the heart of the holiday, as is calling those who are too far away to visit.
Though some of these traditions will look different than usual this year, Nowruz season is upon us and is already being celebrated across the world. It’s a unifying force that can bring together people from disparate cultures, living in all corners of the globe.
Nowruz is an important time for many of the children and families who are supported by Child Foundation. It’s a central holiday for our children in Iran, and it’s also celebrated by some families in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.