Today, Turkic and Iranian peoples celebrate one of their favorite holidays, which is dedicated to the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new solar year, Novruz.
It is not associated with Islam, its roots lie in Zoroastrianism, which does not prevent it from being one of the most beloved holidays in many Muslim countries.
Novruz is celebrated on the day of the spring equinox - March 20 or 21 (in a leap year). Many countries have declared it a public holiday. At this time, they have a long holiday period. For example, in Azerbaijan, the entire current week will be non-working. In Iran, Novruz officially begins the new calendar year.
How is Novruz celebrated in Azerbaijan?
There are many traditions and rituals associated with Novruz in Azerbaijan. The most famous is the kindling of bonfires, it is necessary to jump over them. It is assumed that, after doing this jump, a person is cleansed, renewed and becomes ready for the new year. That is why Novruz in Azerbaijan is associated with the smoke of bonfires.
It is customary to celebrate the holiday at home, with family. At the same time, everyone is also happy to welcome guests. As a sign of readiness to receive a guest, the front door is not locked and the light is not turned off.
One of the brightest symbols of Novruz is green wheat sprouts, which are called semeni. They are planted on the first of the Tuesdays, which are celebrated before Novruz - Water Tuesday. On the last, the fourth Tuesday, Tuesday of the Earth, a red ribbon is tied around the already grown sprouts. On Novruz itself, they are always placed on the festive table, and in its center.
By the way, these two colors - green and red - are the main colors of the holiday. They symbolize its main values, that is, life and fertility.