“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” - T.S. Elliot
“Spring is Nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’” – Robin Williams
Spring is finally here - which brings us new beginnings as (for us in the chillier parts of the world at least) nature begins to bloom again, and we can finally emerge from the bulky outerwear that has encumbered us for the past months.
For much of the world, Spring also means Nowruz – the Persian New Year holiday that symbolizes cleansing away the previous year, and entering the year ahead with a fresh canvas for possibility and prosperity. Nowruz (literal translation: “New Day”) falls on the annual Vernal Equinox (Wednesday, March 21st 2018), ushering in the first day of spring.
A holiday that dates back around 3,000 years, Nowruz is rooted in Zoroastrianism - an ancient monotheistic religion that pre-dates both Christianity and Islam. A specifically Persian holiday, Nowruz survived the Iranian Revolution in 1979 when the country became an Islamic nation – the people refused to abandon their beloved Nowruz traditions after thousands of years of celebration.
It is apparent why that is – Nowruz is a beautifully symbolic and inspiring holiday. Preparation begins about three weeks before the Equinox: a traditional table called the Haft Seen is set up in homes, decorated with symbolic elements representing gifts such as renewal, love, self-care, beauty, wealth, and wisdom. The home is deep-cleaned, shaking loose the dust of the past year and creating a clean living space for the new. Once Nowruz arrives, a 13-day long celebration begins of visiting family, friends, dinner celebrations, and reflection on the year ahead. One particularly lovely tradition is buying and wearing entirely new clothing (even underwear!) on the day of Nowruz to ring in the coming year with a fresh canvas. New clothes feel wonderful, and what better way to radiate a new you for a new season? Such an excellent tradition to welcome spring!
Since no new outfit is complete without adornments, Iris suggests pieces by Aisegul Telli (Istanbul, Turkey) and by Valliyan (Mumbai, India) – designs that both come from Nowruz-celebrating cities:
Wishing you and your loved ones a prosperous and restorative Nowruz Mubarak, and a brilliant Spring season! -Iris
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