Iranian ancient Nowruz

March 17, 2011

Nowruz, or “New Day”, that also spells “Norouz”, “Norooz”, “Noruz”, etc. is the most joyful festival of Iranians (Persians). The Persian Nowruz begins on the first day of spring (usually the 21st of March). The 21st of March, therefore, is equal to the 1st day of Farvardin, the first month of the Persian Year. As far back as records go, Nowruz has been, either in fact or by intention, a celebration of early spring, when the sun begins to regain strength and overcome winter’s cold and darkness and when there is a renewal of growth and vigor in nature. The return of spring would have represented an annual victory for the Spirit of the sun; and Zoroaster saw in it also, it appears, the symbol of a still more glorious victory to come Today, the festival of Nowruz is celebrated in many countries that were territories of the Great Persia: Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Kashmir, Albania, etc. It is also celebrated by the Zoroastrians in Pakistan and India, by Parsis in the Indian subcontinent, and by Aryans in China, Balkans, etc. According to Britannica, The Jewish festival of Purim is probably adopted from the Persian New Year.


Ancient Nowruz History

Tradition takes Nowruz as far back as 15,000 years and that goes beyond the last ice age. The mythical Persian King Jamshid (Yima or Yama of the Indo-Iranian lore) symbolizes the transition of the Indo-Iranians from animal hunting to animal husbandry and a more settled life in human history. Seasons played a vital part then. Everything depended on the four seasons. After a sever winter, the beginning of spring was a great occasion with mother nature rising up in a green robe of colorful flowers and the cattle delivering their young. It was the dawn of abundance. Jamshid symbolizes the person/people who introduced Nowruz celebrations. The Shahnameh, dates Nowruz as far back to the reign of Jamshid, who in Zoroastrian texts saved mankind from a killer winter that was destined to kill every living creature. In the Shahnama, Jamshid constructed a throne studded with gems. He had demons raise him above the earth into the heavens; there he sat on his throne like the sun shining in the sky. The world’s creatures gathered in wonder about him and scattered jewels around him, and called this day the New Day or Now-Ruz. This was the first day of the month of Farvardin.

The famous Persepolis complex, or at least the palace of Apadana and the Hundred Columns Hall, were built for the specific purpose of celebrating Nowruz. In 487 BCE, Darius the Great celebrated the Nowruz at his newly built Persepolis in Iran. There is a detailed account by Xenophon of Nowruz celebration taking place in Persepolis and the continuity of this festival in the Achaemenid tradition. The Nowruznama, Omar Khayyam, provides a vivid description of the celebration in the courts of the Kings of Persia. In addition, the Arsacid period provides the earliest description of Nowruz festivities. This comes from the romantic epic Vis u Ramin, which was identified by V. M. Minorsky as by origin a Parthian oral work.


Nowruz Traditions

Known as the traditional herald of the Nowruz, Haji Firuz is a black-faced character clad in bright red clothes and a felt hat playing a tambourine and singing, “Haji Firuze, sali ye ruze.” (It is Haji Firuz time, it happens once a year!). Haji Firuz is believed to be based in a tradition called “Mir-Nowruzi”. Mir-Nowruzi was a comical figure chosen to rule the municipality for the last five days of the year (also called Panjeh). The temporary five-day king would often parade the city with a group of singers and dancers for the Nowruz Celebrations. The sound of his songs and the sight of his dance is often analogous to hearing Christmas music in a shopping mall, telling all that Nowruz is in the air.

Spring Cleaning (Khaneh Tekani) , is commonly performed before Nowruz. In association with the “rebirth of nature”, extensive spring-cleaning is a national tradition observed by almost every household in Iran. The purchase of new clothes to wear for the new year (Nowruz Shopping or “Kharid Eid”) is an ancient tradition. On the first hours of New Year’s Day (Sal Tahvil) , families dress in their new clothes and start the two weeks celebrations by visiting family and friends (Didd va Bazdid). Each visit is reciprocated. Elders give gifts (Eydi) to younger members. On the thirteenth day families leave their homes for an outdoor picnic (13-bedar) . People sing, dance, and eat “Ashe Reshte”. In the past, girls of marriageable age tie wild grass tops into knots and make a wish that the following Nowruz may find them married and carrying their bonny babies! We later would write more about these alive Nowruz traditions in Iran, i.e. Kharid Eid (Nowruz Shopping) , Khaneh Tekani (Nowruz Cleaning), Haft Siin (Nowruz Table) , Eydi (Nowruz Gift), 13-bedar (13-outdoor), Sabzeh (green sprouts) , Sabzi-Polo (dish of rice, chopped herbs, and fish) , Sal Tahvil (Hours of New year), Didd va Bazdid (visits), etc

Nowruz and Islam

The Islamic conquest altered many Iranian traditions specifically associated with national ideology and Zoroastrian rituals. But Nowruz survived. The Arabs captured the capital of the Sasanian Empire on a Nowruz day, taking the celebrating inhabitants by surprise. In 897CE, the Abbasid caliph al-Motazed forbade the people of Baghdad (that was part of Iran) “to kindle bonfire on New Year’s Eve and pour water [on passersby] on New Year’s Day,” but fearing riot he rescinded the order. Today, the Mullahs and the Islamic regime try to define an Islamic identity, and fight against the Iranian Identity. But the majority of Iranians think that the Iranian Identity is much more important than Islam and specially the Mullah’s Islam. We would write more about it later

For further reading:

[1] Iranica Encyclopedia [2] Zarathusahtrian Assembly
[3] The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
[4] Iranian Studies at Harvard University

Libya’s Tragedy Reveals …

March 17, 2011

‘Gaddafi will kill everyone. Do something. Please…’, Hana El-Gallal a law professor from Benghazi said. He added: “The global community must act to stop Gaddafi . We in Benghazi, in what is left of Free Libya, have a very simple message for the Security Council. Please, do something. We are desperate for your help and you must do it now. It is the time to act and if you don’t there will be genocide. We are called rebels, but we are not rebels. We are a people that simply wants the same freedoms and liberties enjoyed by the people in the West. For 42 years, one man and his family have denied the people of Libya their dignity”. Libyans battle to hold strategic eastern cities against a punishing offensive by forces loyal to Gaddafi, voicing anger and frustration at the West for not coming to their aid. Libyans say:” People are fed up. They are waiting impatiently for an international move. What Gaddafi is doing, he is exploiting delays by international community. People are very angry that no action is being taken against Gaddafi’s weaponry “. Supporters in the U.N. Security Council were trying to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, but Russia, Germany, and the US have expressed doubts. A couple of young Libyans latched on to Lady Ashton’s opposition, as the EU’s foreign minister, to a no-fly zone on the grounds that it could lead to targeted air strikes and civilian casualties. Or as Ashton put it, “collateral damage”. “That’s just an excuse not to do anything, What does she think we’ll be if Gaddafi catches us? ” said Jamal Mahmoud, a young Libyan. He added: “A lot more people will die if the west lets Gaddafi win. That’s what Gaddafi does. He kills people. He never made a secret of it.” Some wise people in the West truly say: “Washington delay over Libya. Gaddafi tries to defeat rebels before international support pays off. Gaddafi’s forces will recapture Benghazi and with it the whole of Libya, then it will be down to the international community’s procrastination and indecision. The wait-and-see school of international relations has led to massacres in Bosnia, Iraq and Rwanda in the last 20 years. And, thanks to western dithering and inertia on the part of nations like Germany, Russia and the US, it will result in the death of the rebellion in Libya too. If Benghazi falls, the blood of martyrs will stain not only Gaddafi’s hands, but all of those who watched the revolution’s failure with indifference

Now we could be sure that the world needs a new order. The stupid western politicians show us that they are on the wrong side of history. They are too foolish for doing the global duties. We need a some sort of organized “Global Community”, with direct democracy. The poor human beings should not ask these stupid bastard politicians for help (“Please, do something”). They should directly involved themselves in doing the global duties.

The United States of Humans = The United Nations of Humans

When we look at Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Britannia, Greece, Italy, the US, Iran, and all other countries, we can see a series of common problems and common matters. The Libyans fight against the savage Gaddafi and the international reaction to butchery is horrible. The American people fight against the big corporations, Wall Street, the banks, the Fortune 500, and a class of millionaires and billionaires. The British students fight against the stupid Cameron and the Conservative system in the UK. The Egyptians fight against the corrupt tyrant. The Greeks fight against the economical problems and the corrupt system. The Italians fight against the corrupt ruler and the Mafioso government. And the Iranians fight against the corrupt religious tyranny. These global and common problems show us that we need something like The United States of Humans . We should have a global structure for our global community, that could be flexible, decentralized, undiscriminating, and efficient. These new global system could make use of the new technologies. All the people around the world could participate in making the global decisions. The global community could experience some sort of “Direct Democracy”. It’s obvious that the global organizations and framework of 1910s, or 1940s are not proper for 2010s. In the new order, the stupid western politicians should not have veto power, the UN should not be controlled by the stupid American or western politicians, and the UN should have a global police.

Something like The United States of Humans is just the first step. Later maybe we would need something like “The United States of All Creators in The Galaxy”, after we could find other intelligence life in the Galaxy. And after that maybe we would need something like “The United States of All Creators in the Whole Universe”. But now, and at first, we should take the first steps towards the better future for all human beings in our planet earth. We need a world without national and any kind of boundaries. Without any kind of borders, passports, visas.

[All the above stories about Libya and other countries, are extracted from Western media’s reports in the past months. You could find the list of Western media that we used in the sidebar]