Monday, March 20 marks the first day of spring and Nowruz—also known as the Persian New Year. Nowruz celebrates new beginnings and the return of spring, symbolizing a rebirth and a chance to start anew. The word Nowruz quite literally translates to “new day.”
Nowruz is a two-week celebration, with days sprinkled in before and after the spring equinox that add to the festivities. For example, Chaharshanbe Suri (known as Scarlet Wednesday) always takes place on the Wednesday before March 20. It is the festival of dancing fire and the first activity to prepare for Nowruz. Friends and family gather together, share traditional food and spread positivity. It is believed that angels are outside our door, listening and taking notes for the year to come. Wishes are manifested and are said out loud. Getting rid of negative energy, thoughts and problems before welcoming the new year.
In some parts of the world, kids go out with a metal spoon and bowl banging outside doors. Very similar to Halloween festivities, people open the door and give out sweets to the children.
Nowruz holidays end on the thirteenth day after March 20—also known as Sizdah Be-dar. One of the popular traditions on this day is to go out on a family picnic and release the sprouted greens, which were part of the haft-sin, into a moving body of water.