An Ancient Persian Tradition with a Modern Flair
This article is a continuation of a series that I write called International at home. Basically, I highlight events close to my home that help you to travel without traveling. If you are interested in reading more, please check out how to be international without leaving home. For people who want to travel but cannot.Click here for other international at home articles.
As I drove up the driveway, I saw a man in the distance. Once I approached him I rolled down the window and was greeted with “Salam, che khobar?” “Man khobaum,” I hastily responded, then I smiled and went to park as I knew I was at the right place.
Most of the world rang in the New Year with major celebrations like New York City, Sydney, or others where masses of crowds run wildly into the streets. However, the world does not always run on the same calendar as the West. Recently, I was invited to take part in a Nowruz celebration, something that I have always wanted to do. Perhaps, it is because of its extended ancient history or maybe the fact that the region has been in the news recently, but I have held some fascination and curiosity to the Persian world for some time now. This year, I was invited to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian new year.
Nowruz means exactly, new year. Its old form derives from “now” pronounced “nahw” meaning new and “ruz” meaning year. The tradition has its roots in the ancient Persian empire and dates back to the days of the Zoroastrian religion, a religion some believe is still living in the underground of modern-day Iran.
According to a friend, the festival is usually best celebrated with family and friends. They will gather and share food, stories, and good times as they anticipate what the new year will bring. Often phrases such as ‘Sal a no mobarak’ will be spoken, as people greet one another. In some places, the celebration is not only a one day affair. It can be celebrated for up to a week or two.
I was overwhelmed with the amazing quantity of food that was presented before us at the celebration. There was so much food and it was all delicious. Half of the time, I didn’t know what I was eating but it was all good going down. In case you aren’t hungry yet, I am going to share some of the pictures of the food. Enjoy!
Tea and a Kebab: what more could you ask for?
There were so many choices, it was fantastic.
I had to try a bit of everything. There were like 5 types of rice plates! My favorite is the rice with cinnamon, raisins, and lentil beans. It is delicious. Homemade humus was hard to beat also.
Have you celebrated Nowruz before? Are you a Persian-food junkie? Let me know what you think below!
Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad to have you as a reader!