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Happy Nowruz!

It’s the start of Spring in the northern hemisphere, and it marks the Persian New Year, known as Nowruz. The Iranian calendar is a solar calendar, so Nowruz always coincides with the spring equinox.

The word Nowruz is a combination of Persian words نو now—meaning “new“—and روز ruz—meaning “day“. Pronunciation varies among Persian dialects, and that is reflected in numerous spellings in English usage, including novruznowruznauruz and newroz.

Celebrations in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 2017

It is a huge month-long celebration in many countries, and has been recognised by UNESCO and included in their List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. In 2010, the United Nations declared 21st March as the International Day of Novruz.  It has Iranian and Zoroastrian origins; however, it has been celebrated by diverse communities for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians, Baháʼís, and some Muslim communities.

In 2017, I was lucky enough to be in Azerbaijan during Nowruz. Baku was overflowing with visitors, with many people choosing to celebrate there. It made finding a hotel more difficult and more expensive, but worth it.

All images taken in Baku, March-April 2017

Happy celebrations, everyone!


Copyright Debbie Smyth, 21 March 2021

Posted as part of All Seasons

14 replies »

    • Yes, I was there for a conference in Baku. And I only realised about the New Year when I was trying to arrange my accommodation and transport around the country – not many tour operators offer things in Azerbaijan and a very helpful company I found gave me scary prices. They explained that many people come in from neighbouring countries to party in Baku. So I gave up and booked my own hotels and transport. Worked wonderfully well.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Happy belated Nowruz, Debbie! Now I understand the comment you gave about the Persian New Year. How fun you could be in Azarbaijan and celebrate New year with a large area of the world few years ago. These giant eggs are so beautiful and artsy!

    To give you heads up, Now the new block editor is completely in place, All Seasons probably has to go over to linking with a simple copy and paste the perma link in the comment. Worked on it two whole days trying to keep the photo link, but haven’t been able to embed the code of linkytools, and it costs too much to buy the classical editor of wordpress. Have a lovely week, Jesh

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was lucky to be there at that time of year – I had to be out there then for work. And then I stayed on to see more of the country. A great place.
      I gave up on the Linky lists a long time ago as couldn’t get it to show on same page as rest of post, so I don’t mind going back to comments and pingbacks. A bit more old fashioned, but I think it is easier in the end.
      Have a relaxing week after all that blog-battling, Jesh


  2. Fascinating bit of knowledge and I bet there are not many of your readers who know about this. Your images serve to illustrate the text very well, and I love the colours.


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