Iranian New Year, or Nowruz, is a celebration of the spring equinox that marks the beginning of the Persian calendar. It is a time of renewal, reflection, and community gathering for Iranians and many other cultures around the world. In Los Angeles, home to one of the largest Iranian communities outside of Iran, Nowruz is a vibrant and colorful festival that showcases the rich traditions and diversity of Iranian culture. Let’s explore how Angelenos celebrate Iranian New Year and what makes this holiday so special.
Nowruz: The Meaning and Significance
Nowruz is a combination of two Persian words, “now” meaning new, and “ruz” meaning day. The holiday symbolizes the rebirth of nature and the arrival of spring, which is considered the beginning of a new cycle of life. It is a time to clean and declutter homes, visit family and friends, and prepare for the new year with hope and optimism.
Nowruz has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in Iran and neighboring countries, and it is recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The holiday has survived centuries of political, social, and religious changes, and it remains a unifying force for Iranians and their diaspora around the world.
Preparing for Nowruz in Los Angeles
In the weeks leading up to Nowruz, Iranian neighborhoods in Los Angeles come alive with colorful decorations, traditional foods, and music. Many families follow the tradition of “haft seen,” which is a ceremonial table setting that includes seven symbolic items starting with the Persian letter “sin.” These items represent fertility, wealth, health, love, knowledge, happiness, and peace, and they are meant to bring luck and prosperity for the new year.
Angelenos also shop for new clothes, bake sweets, and exchange gifts with their loved ones. They may visit local Iranian markets and specialty stores to buy traditional items such as goldfish, hyacinths, and sweets.
Nowruz Celebrations in Los Angeles
The main day of Nowruz is March 20th, which is the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. However, Iranians usually start their celebrations a few days earlier and continue for two weeks after the new year.
One of the most popular events during Nowruz in Los Angeles is the annual parade in Westwood. The parade features floats, marching bands, dancers, and cultural performers, and it attracts tens of thousands of people from all over Southern California. The parade route stretches along Wilshire Boulevard, starting from Westwood Boulevard and ending at the Iranian American Community Center.
Another highlight of Nowruz celebrations is the Persian New Year Festival at UCLA. The festival is organized by the Iranian Student Group and the Farhang Foundation, and it showcases Iranian music, dance, poetry, and art. Visitors can also enjoy traditional food, crafts, and games for children. The festival attracts thousands of attendees every year and promotes cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.
In addition to these public events, many families and community organizations host private Nowruz parties and gatherings. These may include a “haft seen” ceremony, music and dance performances, traditional games, and feasting on Iranian cuisine. Nowruz is a time of generosity and hospitality, and Angelenos embrace this spirit by welcoming friends and strangers to their homes and sharing their traditions.
Nowruz is a time to celebrate the beauty of nature, the richness of culture, and the power of community. In Los Angeles, Iranians and their neighbors come together to honor this ancient holiday with joy, enthusiasm, and creativity. The festival represents the resilience and diversity of the Iranian diaspora, as well as the multicultural fabric of Los Angeles. As Angelenos prepare to welcome another new year, they carry with them the
What time is Sal Tahvil in Los Angeles?
Monday, March 20, 2023, 14:24:28 PM – Sal Tahvil, or the moment of the spring equinox, varies every year depending on astronomical calculations. However, it usually occurs around March 20th at a specific time, which can be found online or in the Iranian calendar. In Los Angeles, Sal Tahvil may occur at different times depending on the exact location and timezone.
What do you wear to the Persian New Year?
There is no specific dress code for Persian New Year, but many Iranians prefer to wear new and colorful clothes as a symbol of renewal and joy. Women may wear traditional Persian dresses, scarves, or jewelry, while men may wear suits, jackets, or national attire. It is also common to wear gold or silver accessories and perfume.
What is Sal Tahvil?
Sal Tahvil, also known as the vernal equinox, is the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night are of equal length. This astronomical event marks the beginning of spring and the new year in many cultures, including the Persian calendar.
How long is the Iranian New Year?
Iranian New Year, or Nowruz, is a 13-day festival that starts on the first day of spring and ends on the 13th day, which is called Sizdah Bedar. The first 12 days are celebrated with various traditions, such as visiting family and friends, cooking special meals, and exchanging gifts. Sizdah Bedar is a day for picnics and outdoor activities to bid farewell to the new year and welcome the coming year.
What Persian event is in the new year 2023?
As of 2021, the Persian New Year of 1402 will occur on March 21st, 2023, at 2:33 AM Pacific Time. Various cultural events and celebrations may take place in Los Angeles and other cities with significant Iranian communities, including parades, concerts, and exhibitions.
What do Iranians do on New Years?
Iranians celebrate Nowruz by following various traditions and customs that reflect their cultural heritage and beliefs. These may include cleaning and decorating homes, setting up a haft seen table, visiting relatives and friends, exchanging gifts, reading poetry, lighting bonfires, and participating in public events.
Do Syrians celebrate the Persian New Year?
While Nowruz is primarily associated with Iranian culture, it is also celebrated in other countries and communities with historical or cultural ties to Iran, such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Kurdish regions. Syrians, who have a distinct cultural and religious identity, may not celebrate Nowruz as a national holiday, but some Syrian communities may observe it as a cultural or social event.
Are Muslims allowed to celebrate Nowruz?
Nowruz is a secular and cultural holiday that is not affiliated with any particular religion or sect. While it has its roots in Zoroastrianism, it has been embraced by various religious and ethnic groups in Iran and beyond. Muslims are free to celebrate Nowruz as a cultural event and participate in its traditions, such as haft seen, without conflicting with their faith.