On the eve of the great feast Nooruz!

On the eve of the great feast Nooruz or in some countries Nowruz, we would like to share with you all we were able to learn about this wonderful day. A typical day of the vernal equinox for one, this day is being the main holiday of the year for people living in the countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and the Caucasus, as well as for the citizens of India and China .

Nooruz holiday is one of the oldest in the world. It has been known even before Zoroastrian times, before VII century BC. The ancient Greek historian Strabo wrote about the holiday: "In the most ancient times to the present inhabitants of Mesopotamia (Syr-Darya and Amu-Darya) on that day are going into the Temple of Fire. Most respected holiday, when the merchants closed their shops, artisans stopped working, and they were having fun, treated each other with the drinks and foods touched by the fire. "

As always, if in ancient times, the holidays had a background that was based on the knowledge accumulated by humans for centuries, today there are only traditions left, the values of which you may not found anymore.

Previously, people who were in communion with nature, knew all its secrets, and worshiped the nature as the queen that could award them, if the year was fruitful and warm, or punish them with a savage drought and frosts. People worshiped and adored Mother Nature with a variety of rituals in order to please the Queen, to present her gifts as a sacrifice and make it pay them rich crops, heavy rains, and not be angry with them for their misdeeds.

So, if you are going to celebrate this day, we are happy to provide you with the opportunity to follow all the rules...

Let's start with the fact that about two weeks before the holiday the wheat or lentils are seeded in dishes. On the holiday the green shoots should reach 5-7 cm and be a decoration for the table, the symbol of the birth of new life, new year. Generally holiday means the beginning of your new life, and you have the opportunity to ponder what you would like your new life to be. Since we are all people, the first thing we need to do is give out all of your debts (from here went the saying "as the new year meet, so spend it"), so it is worth using this time. Traditionally, people clean the house, try to make small repairs (well, those who have more money can make a major overhaul, the main thing is to end this all in time with lazy workers), harvested in the garden. Before Nooruz people have to repent of the sins, reconcile with enemies and forgive debts. In the days of Nooruz the good angels Farishta bring wealth and prosperity to those who have pure intentions, who have bright soul who cleaned the house, because it was believed that the purity of space around the person reflects the clarity of its internal state. Oh, and if you are a vindictive and harmful piggy-wiggy good angels will never come to you.

Even before Islam, the week before Nooruz was dedicated to the souls of ancestors. Ancestors were commemorated by making offerings to them and asking them for help in the coming year and protection from harm. Last Wednesday before Nooruz people made bonfires and jumped over them, the main thing here is to make sure that you don’t accidentally set in fire because you have to jump over the bonfire as much as seven times! Well, if you couldn’t avoid this, you have to jump into the water immediately - it is also a part of the tradition, as with water you get rid of past sins. All is thought over!

And on the eve of this holiday you can tell fortunes if you are going to marry or not. For this you need to turn back to the house of your parents and throw a shoe over your head (warn everyone not to leave the house until you are doing the trick, as you may accidently kill someone), the toe of the shoe, will determine whether you will be able to get married this year, or you have to live in the father's house one more year. If you were always told that it’s bad to overhear, in this day you may do it as much as you like! You can eavesdrop on neighbors’ conversations and still reap the benefits from it, because the basis of the conversation - pleasant or unpleasant, can tell you how good the year will be.

The holiday begins before dawn, when, wearing new clothes, the whole family gathers around the table on which new dish is put. On the table there should be seven products, and these seven magical items and food on the table should be a symbolic gift to the sun, which has to ensure a good harvest. Also on the table sumalak (some people call it Samana) is put - a dish is prepared with sprouted grains of wheat, greens, flax seeds sprouted in water, symbolizing the revival of nature.

Sumalak’s cooking process is consuming. People start to cook it in the evening and it takes all night, prior Nooruz. Cooking Sumalak involves only women. Sumalak is a halva which is prepared from germinated wheat sprouts, which are ground and then boiled in a pot with the addition of flour. This dish is very good for health, as it is rich in vitamins and amino acids.

All the women in a large family and neighbor s in cities gather around a huge pot of Sumalak and constantly stir the dish. The night turns into a women talking, singing, and even dancing. In the morning sumalak is distributed to all who participated in the preparation of a dish or shared the contents for it. In turn, these people treat their relatives and friends with sumalak, spreading it in bowls.

A mirror and light candles are also placed on the table by the number of family members. These candles cannot be put out until they burn out to the end. People serve the table with large festive bread or flat breads, with a bowl of water in which the green leaf is put, fruit, nuts, almonds, fish, chicken, milk, yogurt, cheese, colored eggs. In ancient times, each component was of particular importance for the harvest next year, for the fate of family members. Now this symbolism is lost, but the tradition remained.

On Nooruz people also prepare pilaf.

In ancient times Nooruz was celebrated for 13 days. At the end of the celebrations people went out into the field, where they celebrated the New Year. It was believed that if people go into a field on this day to enjoy nature, throughout the coming year will be accompanied by the happiness and well-being. That's why people with their families spend the 13th day of spring in nature reconciling with her. And thus the New Year festivities end with a visit to wildlife and thinking about the signs of creation.

Now, take a pen, write down everything carefully, and what else, well, and of course, good luck to you in the celebration of the New Year! And we, in turn, won’t forget to congratulate you on this wonderful day and we hope that even if the old year was good, this year will be much better than the old one! 

We are waiting for you in our "Asia Mountains" on a program dedicated to the celebration Nooruz.

More information about the program can be found here.

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