Mar 20, 2021, 9:11 PM
Journalist ID: 1195
News Code: 84268652
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Nowruz customs from house cleaning to Haft-sin

Tehran, March 17, IRNA – Iranians and many people in the geocultural civilization of Nowruz are counting down days, hastily doing backlogs and shopping, to embrace the turn of the Persian year on March equinox with a lot of ceremonial customs waiting to be observed, from cleaning the house to arranging Haft-sin.

 Nowruz, a legacy from thousands of years ago, always energizes people celebrating the event to observe many customs and enter the new year with totally fresh spirit.

Literally meaning 'the new day', the Persian word is used for the first day, and by extension the next 12 days, of the new Persian year, often on or around March 21 on the Gregorian calendar.

Iranians, like many other people from the Black Sea basin to easternmost of Central Asia, start preparatory works to embrace the day from even weeks before the current year ends.

Hastily moving around, people try to clear backlogs from the current year and prepare their house, their family and themselves for customs.

Iranians, as the most known inheritors of the legacy, begin preparation with cleaning their house, a custom known as Khane-Tekani (house shaking).

Dusting and cleaning home appliances and furniture, washing rugs and bedclothes, getting rid of junks or giving away old items to those in need, and by and large, doing any cleaning task postponed.

In the course of Khane-Tekani, which can be exhausting at times and persist not to finish until the very day before Nowruz, people go shopping to afford clothes and items required for customs to be observed like those used in Haft-sin.

Haft-sin, not far from truth if considered as the façade of Nowruz, is a set of seven items with the initial sound of S, being arranged on a tablecloth traditionally spread on the ground and nowadays on the table at times.

Sabzeh (grain sprout), Samanu (sweet pudding made from wheat germ), Senjed (Persian olive), Serkeh (vinegar), Seeb (apple), Seer (garlic) and Sumac are creatively set on the tablecloth, and depending on the household's aesthetic taste decorated by other items like mirror – as a symbol of light, water – symbol of purity, goldfish and the Quran.

The table is set the day before Nowruz and family members gather around it from a few hours or several minutes before the March equinox moment, waiting for the 'cannon shot' of turning the year.

In the past, governments in cities used to shoot cannon as a sign of turning the year; however, nowadays a sound representing the shot is broadcast from radio or TV, accompanied by traditional music.

Visiting houses of other family members, relatives, loved ones, and kith and kin is a custom immediately observed after the turning the year, starting with visiting parents or, if any, grandparents.

All the above-mentioned customs are more or less observed in all countries by people celebrating Nowruz; a geocultural sphere which spans a vast expanse from the Black Sea Basin to the easternmost Central Asia, involving a population of over 300 million people.

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