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” This roughly translates to, “Give me your beautiful red color, and take back my sickly pallor!
” The idea, in keeping with Nowruz’s overarching theme of renewal, is to cleanse away the past year so you can start the new one refreshed and renewed.
Nowruz marks the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one, and it occurs on the day of the vernal equinox.
More accurately, the new year begins the second the equinox does — so, not just at the stroke of midnight.
(Since Zoroastrianism dates back thousands of years, it’s hardly confined to within the borders of Iran or the many versions of the Persian Empire there have been — which is why Nowruz is also celebrated by millions of non-Iranians around the world.) When the 1979 revolution ended with Persia becoming the Islamic Republic of Iran, the new government tried to scale back the level to which Nowruz is celebrated, citing the holiday’s pre-Islamic roots as grounds for its removal.
But Nowruz is less about a single day than a general celebration of being able to wipe away the dust, grime, and sadness of the old in order to start anew.
It’s about closing the door on one chapter and turning the page to the next one with excitement instead of trepidation.
People start getting ready for Nowruz about three weeks before the actual vernal equinox.
Pretty much everyone goes into serious spring-cleaning mode, ridding their homes of any unnecessary clutter and lingering grime that’s settled in over the past year so they can start fresh.