The International day of Nowruz was introduced to the world in 2010 by the United Nations. Nowruz is the Persian New Year and is celebrated by many countries of Asia such as Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Turkey and more.
History of Nowruz
Nowruz is the celebration of the first day of spring. Nowruz is a religious tradition, but it is also the celebration of an astronomical phenomenon.
Traditionally, Zoroastrians celebrated Nowruz as a religious festival, celebrating their ambitions for the new year. They would paint their faces red and yellow and dance around the fire.
In terms of astronomy, Nowruz represents the first day of spring, the New Year, initiating the Earth’s forthcoming revolution of 365 days around the sun.
Nowruz In Afghanistan
In Afghanistan Nowruz is celebrated for two weeks and preparations start a week beforehand. These are the Afghani traditions and customs for the celebrations:
Samanak: a special sweet dish made from wheat germ; people invite their closest relatives for a Samanak party and cook until dawn, singing a special song entitle Samanak Dar Josh.
Haft Mewa: a sweet dish made from seven different dried fruits, that are left soaking in water for seven hours, after which it is ready to eat.
Mela e Gul e Surkh: Red Rose or Red Flower Festival, which grow during the days of Nowruz. This festival is celebrated in the northern provinces of Afghanistan, especialy in Mazar-i-Sharif. People travel from different parts of Afghanistan to attend the Jahenda Bala ceremony, where the flag is raised at the Blue Mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Buzkashi (goat dragging) is the national game of Afghanistan and on the second day of Nowruz, a tournament is organised, where the players have to grab a goat from the ground while riding horses, drag it along and pitch it on the target line.