Monday, March 20, 2006

Iranian New Year Starts!

SMCCDI (Information Service):
The Iranian New Year started at 09:55':35" PM (Iran's local time) on Monday March 20, 2006 (the official 30th Esfand 1384). This precise timing is based on the start of Spring and to one full cycle made by the Earth around the Sun.

Peoples of Iranian descent call such a yearly moment of celebration as Nowrooz (meaning New Day). This event is a sign of the resilience of tradition amongst all people of Iranian descent, such as, Afghans, Azaris, Balootchs, Kurds, Persians and Tajiks who are deeply attached to their ancient roots. READ MORE

The roots of Nowrooz date back to long ago. Historians trace it to pre-Islamic Iran. Some connect it to Jamshid Shah Jam, one of the epic kings of Persia (Iran). The engravings of Persepolis show, according to some historians, signs that the Achemenid dynasty celebrated Nowrooz more than two thousand and five hundred years ago.

Nowrooz is a relic of ancient times. A memory of old tales and epics, a celebration of rebirth and rejuvenation. Spring has arrived and the previous year with all its events, good or bad, has passed. Renewed hope anticipates new achievements. This event signifies the celebration of nature through culture. It heralds re-birth and announces the coming of the new. The dark has passed and the light of hope shines in people's hearts.

The current practice of Nowrooz, is an amalgam of many centuries of cultural influence. The Haft-seen (made up of seven symbols of life and the interaction of human beings with nature), visiting elders, giving gifts, special foods, house cleaning, wearing of new clothes, forgetting old grudges and embracing new things all make up different aspects of Nowrooz.

There is no doubt that this ancient way of celebrating the new year in Iran and its former territories have endured and adapted through many centuries of history-- surviving the Arab invasions and the forced conversion of all Iranians to Islam. Nowrooz-Nameh, which many attribute to the poet, Omar Khayyam, adapted this event to the solar calendar and preserved it for future generations.

The official year 1385 is based on a Muslim event rather than a genuine Iranian basis. But an increasing number of Iranians are seeking a calendar based on Iran's long history and rich culture rather than the travel of Islam's Prophet from one Arabic peninsula's city to another which happened fourteen centuries ago. They do believe in the Iranian New Year 2565 which is the year of foundation of Iran by Cyrus the Great.

Even many of the dogmatic Islamist clerics who tried, upon the victory of their revolution, to ban such important cultural heritage and deep popular believe, have had to accept defeat. They're more and more endorsing Nowrooz while trying desperately to build baseless analogies with Islamist texts.

Most Iranian political prisoners celebrated the start of the New Year by setting the traditional "Haft-Sin". They wrote slogans against the regime and its leadership on the traditional colored egs and wished for an end to the misery of the Iranian Nation. Their families' members will gather, on Tuesday morning, in front of the Evin Political jail's doors.

The SMCCDI Coordinator and INSP Chairman, Aryo B. Pirouznia, and other members of the Movement, such as, Ali Salehi, Ziba Maleki, Goli Afshar and Mehran Shah-Hosseini have extended the Movement's best wishes and hope of Freedom in interviews made with some of abroad based Persian speaking media broadcasting for Iran. Most Iranian opposition parties and political leaders or personalities, such as, Prince Reza Pahlavi and Empress Farah Pahlavi have issued statements at the occasion of the event.