Nowruz also called Navroz, the Persian New Year is almost here, and Iranian and Zoroastrian origin people across the world are busy celebrating this festival with great enthusiasm and zeal. Nowruz 2020 falls on March 20 this year, and people have celebrated this festival as New Year for over 3000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia. Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox and marks the beginning of spring. While Nowruz mostly falls on March 21, the date changes based on the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day. Nowruz celebration holds great significance for the Iranian and Zoroastrians and is also celebrated as a secular holiday in various places. 

When Is Nowruz Celebrated?

As mentioned, Nowruz marks the first day of the first month (Farvardin) of the Iranian calendars. This date predominantly falls in March and is mostly celebrated on March 21. However, based on the movement of the planets and sun, this date can shift either a day ahead or behind. Nowruz 2020 will be celebrated on Friday, March 20.

What Is the Significance of Nowruz?

While Nowruz is celebrated by people from different faiths in various parts of the world, it is predominantly celebrating the beginning of spring in the western hemisphere. It has been celebrated since the reform of the Iranian Calendar in the 11th Century CE and marks their New Year. However, the United Nations officially recognized the "International Day of Nowruz" with the adoption of UN resolution 64/253 in 2010. While it was only celebrated by Iran before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Caucasian and Central Asian countries declared Nowruz as a national holiday after their independence. 

How Is Nowruz Celebrated?

Since it is the celebration of a new year, it marks a great day for new and fresh beginnings. In preparation for Nowruz, people turn to deep cleaning their homes, purchase new clothes and also visit family and friends on this day. An integral part of the celebration is the family coming together around the Haft-sin table and await the moment of March equinox. Haft-sin means including seven foods beginning with the letter sin and are believed to have astrological correlations to Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Sun, and Moon. 

We hope that this Nowruz brings in a new and bright tomorrow, which is full of peace, compassion and happiness. Happy Nowruz 2020! 

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 18, 2020 03:34 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website