Nowrouz [pronounced NO-ROOZ] in Persian means "New-[year]-day". It is the beginning of the new year for the people of Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbmijan and Tajikistan. It is also celebrated as the new year by the people of the Iranian stock, particularly the Kurds, in the neighboring countries of Georgia, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.
Tradition takes Nowruz as far back as 15,000 years and that goes beyond the last ice age.
The year began precisely with the vernal equinox, on March 21st ,
In 487 BCE, Darius the Great of the Achaemenian dynasty (700 to 330 BC) celebrated the Nowruz at his newly built Persepolis in Iran. The Persepolis was the place the Achaemenian king received, on Nowruz, his peoples from all over the vast empire. Since then, the peoples of the Iranian culture, whether Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, or others, have, under Arab, Turk, Mongol, and Iranian rulers, celebrated Nowrouz.
Every house gets a thorough cleaning almost a month before. Wheat, barley, lentils, and other vegetable seeds are soaked to grow on china plates and round earthenware vessels some ten days in advance, so that the sprouts are three to four inches in height by Nowruz.
Today, the ceremony has been simplified
a mirror, candles, incense burner, bowl of water with live gold fish, the plates and vessels with green sprouts, flowers, fruits, coins, bread, colorfully painted boiled eggs like "Easter eggs," and above all, seven articles ( Haft Seen ) with their names beginning in Persian with the letter "S" (seen) . The usual things with "S" are:
First Plate: SERKEH, the vinegar, Which adds taste to the things you want to preserve and relish. It symbolizes tasty preservation.
Second Plate: SUMAC, exotic in its own way, It makes kebabs have a tangy taste, a taste you relish. It symbolizes taste.
Third Plate: SIR, garlic. Some may not like its aroma and others love it. It lowers blood pressure. It pacifies. It symbolizes peace.
Fourth Plate: SAMANU, a sweetish paste, made from germinating wheat. It symbolizes the sprouting spring, the time for happy growth.
Fifth Plate: SIB, apple. It symbolizes the fruits of our world, both literally and allegorically.
Sixth Plate: SENJED, the jujube fruit of the sorb tree. It is the fruit of a tree which provides shade in summer. It symbolizes the shelter and security you need when you want a rest.
Seventh Plate: SABZI, fresh green herbs. It comes from green fields. It symbolizes prosperity.
New year holidays long last for two weeks.