Nowruz in Iran in 2020

Nowruz in Iran in 2020
  How long until Nowruz?
This holiday next takes place in 249 days.
  Dates of Nowruz in Iran
2021Mar 21, Mar 22, Mar 23, Mar 24
IranWed, Mar 24National Holiday (additional day)
IranTue, Mar 23National Holiday (additional day)
IranMon, Mar 22National Holiday (additional day)
IranSun, Mar 21National Holiday
2020Mar 20, Mar 21, Mar 22, Mar 23
IranMon, Mar 23National Holiday (additional day)
IranSun, Mar 22National Holiday (additional day)
IranSat, Mar 21National Holiday (additional day)
IranFri, Mar 20National Holiday
2019Mar 21, Mar 22, Mar 23, Mar 24
IranSun, Mar 24National Holiday (additional day)
IranSat, Mar 23National Holiday (additional day)
IranFri, Mar 22National Holiday (additional day)
IranThu, Mar 21National Holiday
2018Mar 21, Mar 22, Mar 23, Mar 24
IranSat, Mar 24National Holiday (additional day)
IranFri, Mar 23National Holiday (additional day)
IranThu, Mar 22National Holiday (additional day)
IranWed, Mar 21National Holiday
  Summary
Novruz celebrates the Persian New Year, and the beginning of Spring
  Nowruz in other countries
Nowruz internationally

Novruz celebrates the Persian New Year, and the beginning of Spring. Novruz means 'New Day'.

In some countries it may have a different spelling and be observed on slightly different dates. The details of these names and dates are shown on the table to the right.

Day by day guide to Novruz

History of Nowruz

This is one of humanity's oldest holidays, and although it may be often called Persian New Year, it predates the Persian Empire and can be traced back 5,000 years to the Sumerian and the Babylonian civilisations. Novruz begins on either 20 March or 21 March, on the spring equinox, when the days and nights are equal lengths, with days then becoming longer signifying the arrival of warmer weather.

The build-up to Novruz begins a month before the festival. Each of the four Tuesdays falling before Novruz is dedicated to a different element. First is Water Tuesday, where water renews nature. Next is Fire Tuesday which honours fire as a method rebirth. Then it is Earth Tuesday marking the revival of the earth. Finally, it is Wind Tuesday when the wind opens the buds and marks the arrival of Spring.

Fire worship forms an integral part of the celebrations with fires being lit on the four Tuesdays in the run-up to Novruz. On the last Tuesday, everyone has to jump over the fire as an act of purification.

Like a lot of spring festivals, this idea of purification and starting again is key. Indeed, before Novruz, activities based on renewal like spring cleaning, planting trees, make new clothes and painting eggs are popular.

On the day before Novruz, the graves of relatives are visited and tended, then the whole family will gather around the table to enjoy traditional dishes. The table will be decorated with a khoncha, a large silver or copper tray with Samani (wheat) placed in the centre and candles and painted eggs representing the number of family members around it. The feast will consist of at least seven dishes.

While not a public holiday in India, there are significant Parsi communities in Mumbai and Gujarat who follow Zoroastrianism and celebrate Nowruz. Parsis visit to the Fire Temple to offer special prayers. They also prepare festive delicacies and friends and families get together to celebrate the day.

On 30 September, 2009, Novruz was included into UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. On 23 February 2010, the United Nations declared March 21 the International Day of Novruz.

Nowruz in Iran

Nowruz is the most important event in the Iranian calendar.

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Iran was the only country that officially celebrated Nowruz.

The Fire Festival on the Tuesday before Nowruz remains a popular tradition, despite attempts by the authorities to stop it and the high number of injuries it causes every year. The fire festival also features an Iranian tradition where people go door to door in the hope of being given a holiday mix of nuts and berries, as well as buckets of water.

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