Photo: Celebrating Nowruz at the National Museum of the “Dimitri Gusti” Village; Ambassadors – HE Mr. Annamammet Annayev, Turkmenistan; HE Mr. Yerlik Ali, Kazakhstan; HE Mr. Özgür Kivanç Altan, Türkiye; HE Dr. Seyed Hossein Sadat Meidani, Iran; HE Mr. Rahul Shrivastava, India.


As the world heralds the arrival of spring, we gather to celebrate Nowruz, an ancient and cherished tradition observed by millions in Iran and across the globe. Nowruz, meaning “New Day”, marks the beginning of the New Year in various cultures, notably in Iran and Central Asia. This venerable festival, deeply rooted in history and cultural significance, serves as a poignant reminder of our shared humanity and the enduring spirit of hope and renewal.

The Iranian calendar, based on the solar calendar, designates the vernal equinox as the first day of the year, typically falling on March 20th or 21st. In 2024, 20th March coincides with the first day of Nowruz in the Iranian calendar, aligning with the vernal equinox. Beyond its cultural significance, Nowruz carries profound ecological and astronomical significance. The festival marks the vernal equinox, signaling the onset of spring and the renewal of the natural world. It is a time when nature awakens from its winter slumber, bursting forth with vibrant colors and new life, symbolizing hope and rejuvenation.

In recognition of the importance of this ancient rite, which has been celebrated for over 3000 years, Nowruz was inscribed on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009 and at the suggestion of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in collaboration with countries of Central Asia, Caucasus, and Indian Sun-continent, in 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21st March as the International Nowruz Day. For hundreds of years, millions of people from the above mentioned regions have been celebrating the beginning of spring and the end of winter at their national level, so that families can renew their spirits, remove bad feelings towards each other, get together, and live a lively, happy, and colorful life in the year ahead.

Nowruz traces its origins back thousands of years to the Zoroastrian faith in Great Persia, where it was celebrated as a time of spiritual renewal and the triumph of light over darkness. Over the centuries, Nowruz has evolved into a multicultural celebration, embracing diverse customs and traditions while retaining its core symbolism of rebirth and rejuvenation.

The festivities of Nowruz typically span a period of several weeks, beginning on the spring equinox, which usually falls on March 20th or 21st. In Iran, preparations for Nowruz often commence weeks in advance, as families embark on a thorough spring cleaning of their homes, symbolizing the removal of negativity and the embrace of new beginnings.

Central to the celebration of Nowruz is the Haft-Seen table, a meticulously arranged display featuring seven symbolic items, each starting with the Persian letter “S.” Iranians observe Nowruz with various traditions, one of the most prominent being the setting of the Haftseen table. Haftseen, meaning “seven S’s,” refers to a traditional table setting adorned with seven symbolic items, each starting with the Persian letter “س” pronounced as “seen.” These items often include Sabzeh (wheat, barley, or lentil sprouts), Samanu (sweet pudding), Senjed (dried oleaster fruit), Seer (garlic), Seeb (apple), Somāq (sumac berries), and Serkeh (vinegar). Each item carries its own significance, representing concepts like rebirth, prosperity, and love.

Throughout Nowruz, families in Iran and many countries come together to share festive meals, exchange gifts, and partake in cultural rituals and traditions. Street performances, folk music, and dance are also integral parts of the celebration, adding to the festive atmosphere and sense of community spirit.

As we gather to celebrate Nowruz, let us reflect on the timeless wisdom and enduring values embodied by this ancient tradition. Let us embrace the spirit of unity, compassion, and solidarity, and resolve to build a brighter future for all. May this season of renewal bring peace, prosperity, and happiness to all, and may the spirit of Nowruz continue to inspire and uplift us throughout the year ahead.

With this special occasion, we invite you to attend an exhibition that will take place between March 23rd and March 31st at the Village Museum, so people can catch a glimpse of this wonderful tradition of Nowruz.

Happy Nowruz! May this New Year bring you joy, prosperity, and abundant blessings to all nations, including Romanians! I wish you health, happiness, and success in all your endeavors. Enjoy the festivities and cherish the moments spent with your loved ones. Hopes and joys for a vibrant year ahead!

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About the author:

HE Dr. Seyed Hossein Sadat Meidani

HE Dr. Seyed Hossein Sadat Meidani is the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Romania.

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