Iranian community invites everyone to share Nowruz celebrations

norwuz-770x588The island’s Iranian community is getting ready to celebrate one of its most important holidays, Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which is celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox, and they’re inviting everyone to join them.

Nowruz, which means ‘New Day’, is celebrated each year on March 20 or 21, at the time the sun enters Aries. This year, Nowruz is on March 20.

It’s a festivity that’s around 3,000-years-old and is deeply rooted in the rituals and traditions of the Zoroastrian religion. Today it is celebrated by more than 300 million people all around the world, including in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

But festivities begin a week earlier, on the eve of the last Wednesday of the outgoing year, with Chaharshanbe Suri or Red Wednesday where bonfires are lit and people jump over the flames asking the fire to take away their sickness and replace it with energy.

In Cyprus, the Youth for Exchange and Understanding (YEU) has made arrangements for the organisation of Chaharshanbe Suri on Tuesday night at the Meneou beach in Larnaca.

According to Ehsan Abdi, one of the organisers, the event is aimed at honouring a most important Iranian tradition on the one hand, and on the other hand at introducing this ritual to everyone who would like to participate.

“The idea is to cleanse the soul and be ready for the new year,” Abdi told the Sunday Mail. “As we jump over the fire we say ‘My yellowness (sickness) to you, your redness (energy) to me”.

The ritual, Abdi said, dates back to the Zoroastrians who worshipped fire. “It is a purification rite, which is traditionally regarded necessary before the arrival of spring,” the organisers said.
At the event, there will also be Iranian music and dancing.

For more information:

The Iranian embassy in Cyprus is also holding a number of cultural events next week in Nicosia and Limassol on the occasion of the Iranian New Year and the International Day of Nowruz.

A folk music and handicrafts workshop event is to be held on Saturday at the Shoe Factory in Nicosia at 8.30pm and at the Curium Palace Hotel in Limassol on Sunday at 7pm.

On March 20 and 21, a multicultural programme including music performance, art exhibition and Iranian films will take place at the Pallouriotissa Old Market in Nicosia. The events begin at 6.30pm.

Around 1,200 tourists from Iran visit Cyprus each year to celebrate Nowruz.

Published on