Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Norooz - Part 2

In the last post the thing I forgot to tell about the Haft-Sinn is the apple. Actually apple is not part of the seven special things, but it is usually present in Haft-Sinn just as a sign like the goldfish or the mirror. And the water which people bring from the rivers or springs is also a sign and usually is used to water the "Sabzeh" throughout the Norooz celebration until "Sizdah-be-dar".

So I left writing about Norooz right at the moment when the old year is going to change to new year. At that time the family gathers around the Haft-Sinn and waits the new year to start. Then the parents give their children the first gift of the year which is usually money, because Iranians believe that how your year will be depends on how you start the year. After kissing each other and congratulating the beginning of the new year if they were the younger members of the family they start their Norooz visits with the oldest member of the family and the next few days are spent visiting every friend or relative that they care about. So in these days I get to know some of my far relatives that I might not see them through the whole year. The best things in these visits are the "Eidi"s which the children and younger people get and also I must say so many different and delicious kinds of cookies and sweets. So it is really hard to visit different people the whole day and being offered different cookies and drinks and to be able to control yourself not testing all of them. These days are really relaxing, seeing people in their best clothes in their cars driving gently and everybody is kind to each other. The rest of the Norooz holidays until Sizdah-be-dar is spent in different ways, but most of the families plan a trip to go see other places. So usually Shiraz, the famous city of Hafez and Sa'di, is very crowded and the hotels in this city are all booked even from one month before. The reason is that this city has its best weather in this time of the year and it has many interesting and beautiful things to see.

And at last comes the last day of Norooz celebration. "Sizdah-be-dar" verbally means to pass the thirteenth. It is the thirteenth of Farvardin(First month of Iranian year). As the ancient Iranians believed that 13 is a number for bad luck they wanted to spend this day in the countryside and outside cities and towns to make sure that this day goes well. Today it is just a chance to go to the countryside along the mountains or the sea and spend this day with friends and families, play and again have a chance to try a lot of delicious foods! But the feeling at the end of this day is not so good because you are dead tired and you know that tomorrow everything is going to start again, the work, the job, the studies… and so it is. But what happens to the Sabzeh? Everybody usually put it in the car and take it with them in Sizdah-be-dar. Wherever there is a river they throw the Sabzeh into the river and the river takes these young wheat plants to wherever it can.

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