Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nowruz | Afghan New Year and First Day of Spring

Nowruz also known as the Persian New Year, has been celebrated for over 3,000 years. Coinciding with the spring equinox, it is marked in parts of the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.

Celebrating with the Afghan Women’s Writing Project
Nowruz means a new day and for the coming of Nowruz we have to make ready our homes, the streets, and every corner. The thoughts, the clothes, everything is about becoming new. The gift of Nowruz is smiling and happiness. — Fatima Hu

We are making haft mewa—seven fruits—and we’ll go together with ten families to green places. — Zahra

We sit down with haft mewa on the tablecloth, make a wish, and then we go outdoors to have fun. But there is a traditional belief that on the last day of Nowruz—Sizdah Bedar—if you go outside it will bring misfortune the rest of the year. —Fatima H.

We celebrate with orange flowers in Nangarhar. — Seema

We make haft mewa and eat this sweet dish with seven kinds of fruit with the whole family. We go to the Naranj Gul Mela festival, which means Festival of Orange Flowers, in Nangarhar. —Hila

We celebrate by making wishes for ourselves and for others. — Fatima Ha

Everyone makes something new—clothes or food. We make haft mewa and seven dishes that start with the letter S. We go to relatives’ houses and our family goes for a picnic in Mazar-e-Sharif or Kapisa. Having Nowruz once a year makes me happier than ever. — Basirah

More images on the MSNBC Photoblog.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Afghanistan 101 is a blog of the American Friends Service Committee
215-241-7000 · web@afsc.org