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Nowrūz
Nowrūz
Also called Also spelled Norouz, Norooz, Narooz, Nawruz, Newroz, Newruz, Nauruz, Nawroz, Noruz, Novruz, Nauroz, Navroz, Naw-Rúz, Nowroj, Navroj, Nevruz, Neyruz, Наврӯз, Navruz, Navrez, Nooruz, Nauryz, Nevruz, Nowrouz,
Observed by Principally in:
Iran Iran
Afghanistan Afghanistan
Iraqi Kurdistan Iraqi Kurdistan
Tajikistan Tajikistan
ethnic & religious groups worldwide:Kurdish diaspora
Zoroastrians, Bahá'ís and the Iranian diaspora. Also observed in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Caucasus, Crimea, Georgia, India, Iraq, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Pakistan, Serbia, Syria, Uzbekistan.
Significance New year holiday
Date March 20, 21 or 22
Some communities celebrate on the actual Spring Equinox. Others celebrated on a fixed day every year. The Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Nowruz on a date between mid-March and mid-April, which is determined by the Hindu lunar calendar every year.
2009 date Friday, March 20, 2009 at 11:44 UTC *
2010 date Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 17:32 UTC *
Celebrations The Haftsin setting, Chahârshanbe Sûrî, Sizdah Bedar, etc.

Nowrūz (Persian language: نوروز [noʊruːz]), meaning 'New Day') is the traditional ancient Iranian[1] festival and also the start day of Iranian "New Year".

Nowruz is celebrated and observed by Iranian peoples and the related cultural continent and has spread in many other parts of the world, including parts of Central Asia, South Asia, Northwestern China, the Crimea and some ethnic groups in Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday and having significance amongst the Zoroastrian ancestors of modern Iranians, the same time is celebrated in the Indian sub-continent as the new year. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to observe the rituals.

Nowruz was originally a Zoroasterian festival, and holiest of all, and as such has unclear date of origin but was "probably" invented by Zoroaster himself.[2] Since the Achaemenid era the official year has begun with the New Day when the Sun leaves the zodiac of Pisces and enters the zodiacal sign of Aries, signifying the Spring Equinox. The Jewish festival of Purim is probably adopted from the Persian New Year.[3] It is also a holy day for Ismailis, Alawites,[4] Alevis, and adherents of the Bahá'í Faith.[5]

The term Nowruz in writing, first appeared in Persian records in the second century AD, but it was also an important day during the time of the Achaemenids (c. 648-330 BC), where kings from different nations under the Persian empire used to bring gifts to the emperor also called King of Kings (Shahanshah) of Persia on Nowruz.[6].

The UN's General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of Nowruz, describing it a spring festival of Persian origin which has been celebrated for over 3,000 years.[7] During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations, held between 28 September – 2 October 2009 in Abu Dhabi, Nowrūz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.[8][9][10][11] Since 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognizes March 21 as the "International Day of Nowruz".[12] On 15 March 2010, The United States House of Representatives passed The Nowruz Resolution (H.Res. 267), by a 384-2 vote,[13] "Recognizing the cultural and historical significance of Nowruz, ... .".[14]

Contents

Etymology

'Nowruz' comes from two words, now (or a similar term, such as 'nau' or 'nav', with the sounds 'n' and 'v' or 'w'), meaning new in Persian, Kurdish, Avestan, Sanskrit and several other related Indo-European languages. In fact, the English 'new', the German 'neu', the French 'nouveau', the Romanian 'nou', are intimately related to the Indo-Iranian 'now', and roz or ruz or rozh, meaning day in Middle Persian and Persian languages.

Nowruz and the spring equinox

Illumination of the Earth by the Sun on the day of equinox, (ignoring twilight).

The first day on the Iranian calendar falls on the March equinox, the first day of spring. At the time of the equinox, the sun is observed to be directly over the equator, and the north and south poles of the Earth lie along the solar terminator; sunlight is evenly divided between the north and south hemispheres.

In ca. 11 century CE major reforms of Iranian calenders took place and whose principal purpose was to fix the beginning of the calendar year, i.e. Nowrūz, at the vernal equinox. Accordingly, the definition of Nowruz given by the Iranian scientist Ṭūsī was the following: "the first day of the official new year [Nowruz] was always the day on which the sun entered Aries before noon".[15]

History and tradition

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Tradition and mythology

Bas-relief in Persepolis - a symbol Zoroastrian Nowruz - in day of a spring equinox power of eternally fighting bull (personifying the Earth), and a lion (personifying the Sun), are equal

The celebration has its roots in Ancient Iran. Due to its antiquity, there exist various foundation myths for Nowruz in Iranian mythology. In the Zoroastrian tradition, the seven most important Zoroastrian festivals are the six Gahambars and Nowruz, which occurs at the spring equinox. According to the late Professor Mary Boyce,[16]

"It seems a reasonable surmise that Nowruz, the holiest of them all, with deep doctrinal significance, was founded by Zoroaster himself

Between sunset of the day of the 6th Gahanbar and sunrise of Nowruz was celebrated Hamaspathmaedaya (later known, in its extended form, as Frawardinegan). This and the Gahanbar are the only festivals named in the surviving text of the Avesta.

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[17]. The mythical Persian King Jamshid (Yima or Yama of the Indo-Iranian lore) perhaps symbolizes the transition of the Indo-Iranians from animal hunting to animal husbandry and a more settled life in human history. In the Shahnameh and Iranian mythology, he is credited with the foundation of Nowruz. 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 No/Now-Ruz. This was the first day of the month of Farvardin (the first month of the Persian calendar).[18]

The Persian scholar Abu Rayhan Biruni of the 10th century A.D., in his Persian work "Kitab al-Tafhim li Awa'il Sina'at al-Tanjim" provides a description of the calendar of various nations. Besides the Persian calendar, various festivals of Arabs, Jews, Sabians, Greeks and other nations are mentioned in this book. In the section on the Persian calendar(تقویم پارسیان), he mentions Nowruz, Sadeh, Tiregan, Mehregan, the six Gahanbar, Parvardegaan, Bahmanja, Isfandarmazh and several other festivals. According to him: It is the belief of the Persians that Nowruz marks the first day when the universe started its motion.[19]. The Persian historian Abu Saʿīd Gardēzī[20] in the section of the Persian calendar mentions Nowruz (among other festivals) in his work titled Zayn ul-Akhbār and specifically points out that Zoroaster highly emphasized the celebration of Nowruz and Mehregan[21].

The Kurdish version of Newroz is the Legend of Kawe the Blacksmith which similar to the story in the Shahnameh. Which says that once upon a time there was an evil king named Dehak. The king and his kingdom were cursed because of his wickedness. The sun refused to shine and it was impossible to grow any food. The king Dehak had the added curse of having two snakes attached to his shoulders. When the snakes were hungry he was in great pain, and the only thing that would satisfy the hunger of the snakes were the brains of children. So every day, two of the children from the local villages were killed and their brains fed to the snakes. Kawe was the local blacksmith and hated the king, as 16 of his 17 children had been sacrificed for the King’s snakes. When he received word that his last child, a daughter, was to be killed he came up with a plan to save her. Instead of sacrificing his daughter, Kawe had sacrificed a sheep and had given the sheep’s brain to the King. The difference was not noticed. When others heard of Kawe’s trickery they all did the same; at night they would send their children up to the mountains with Kawe where they would be safe. The children flourished in the mountains and Kawe created an army from the children to end the evil king’s reign. When their numbers were great enough, they came down from the mountains and stormed the castle. Kawe himself cast the fatal blow to the evil king, Dehak. To tell the news to the people of Mesopotamia he built a large bonfire, which lit up the sky and cleansed the air of the evilness of Dehak’s reign. That very morning, the sun began to shine again and the lands began to grow once more. This is the beginning of the “New Day” or Newroz (نه‌ورۆز)as it is spelled in Kurdish.

History

Persepolis (Persian: تخت جمشید meaning the throne of Jamshid) all nations stair case. Notice the people from across the Achaemenid Persian Empire bringing gifts. Some scholars have associated the occasion to be either Mehregan or Nowruz[22].

Although it is not clear whether proto-Indo-Iranians celebrated a feast as the first day of the calendar, there are indications that both Iranians and Indians assumed the first day of autumn as the beginning of new year season. There are reasons that Iranians may have observed the beginning both autumn and spring.[23]

Boyce and Grenet explain the traditions for seasonal festivals and comment:"It is possible that the splendor of the Babylonian festivities at this season led the Persians to develop their own spring festival into an established new year feast, with the name Navasarda 'New Year' (a name which, though first attested through Middle Persian derivatives, is attributed to the Achaemenian period). Since the communal observations of the ancient Iranians appear in general to have been a seasonal ones, it is probable, however, that they traditionally held festivals in both autumn and spring, to mark the major turning points of the natural year".[23]

We have reasons to believe that the celebration is much older than that date and was surely celebrated by the people and royalty during the Achaemenid times (555-330 BC). It was, therefore, a highly auspicious occasion for the ancient Iranian peoples. It has been suggested that 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. Although, there may be no mention of Nowruz in recorded Achaemenid inscriptions (see picture)[24] There is a detailed account by Xenophon of Nowruz celebration taking place in Persepolis and the continuity of this festival in the Achaemenid tradition.[25] According to Britannica, the Jewish festival of Purim, is probably adopted from the Persian New Year. [3]

Nowruz was the holiday of Arsacid/Parthian dynastic Empires who ruled Iran (248 BC-224 AD). There are specific references to the celebration of Nowruz during the reign of Vologases I (51-78 AD), but these include no details.[24] Before Sassanids established their power in West Asia around 300 AD, Parthians celebrated Nowruz in Autumn and 1st of Farvardin began at the Autumn Equinox. During Parthian dynasty the Spring Festival was Mehragan, a Zoroastrian and Iranian festival celebrated in honor of Mithra.[26]

Extensive records on the celebration of Nowruz appear following the accession of Ardashir I of Persia, the founder of the Sassanid dynasty (224-651 AD). Under the Sassanid emperors, Nowruz was celebrated as the most important day of the year. Most royal traditions of Nowruz such as royal audiences with the public, cash gifts, and the pardoning of prisoners, were established during the Sassanian era and persisted unchanged until modern times.

Nowruz, along with Sadeh (celebrated in mid-winter), survived in society following the introduction of Islam in 650 AD. Other celebrations such Gahanbar and Mehragan were eventually side-lined or were only followed by the Zoroastrians, who carried them. There are records of the Four Great Caliphs presiding over Nowruz celebrations, and it was adopted as the main royal holiday during the Abbasid period.

In his work titled the Nowruznama, Omar Khayyam, a well known Persian poet and Mathematician provides a vivid description of the celebration in the courts of the Kings of Persia[27]:

From the era of Keykhosrow till the days of Yazdegard, last of the pre-Islamic kings of Persia, the royal custom was thus: on the first day of the New Year, Now Ruz, the King's first visitor was the High Mobad of the Zoroastrians, who brought with him as gifts a golden goblet full of wine, a ring, some gold coins, a fistful of green sprigs of wheat, a sword, and a bow. In the language of Persia he would then glorify God and praise the monarch.. This was the address of the High Mobad to the king : "O Majesty, on this feast of the Equinox, first day of the first month of the year, seeing that thou hast freely chosen God and the Faith of the Ancient ones; may Surush, the Angel-messenger, grant thee wisdom and insight and sagacity in thy affairs. Live long in praise, be happy and fortunate upon thy golden throne, drink immortality from the Cup of Jamshid; and keep in solemn trust the customs of our ancestors, their noble aspirations, fair gestures and the exercise of justice and righteousness. May thy soul flourish; may thy youth be as the new-grown grain; may thy horse be puissant, victorious; thy sword bright and deadly against foes; thy hawk swift against its prey; thy every act straight as the arrow's shaft. Go forth from thy rich throne, conquer new lands. Honor the craftsman and the sage in equal degree; disdain the acquisition of wealth. May thy house prosper and thy life be long!"

Following the demise of the Caliphate and the subsequent re-emergence of Persian dynasties such as the Samanids and Buyids, Nowruz was elevated to an even more important event. The Buyids revived the ancient traditions of Sassanian times and restored many smaller celebrations that had been eliminated by the Caliphate. Even the Turkic and Mongol invaders did not attempt to abolish Nowruz in favor of any other celebration. Thus, Nowruz remained as the main celebration in the Persian lands by both the officials and the people.

Local variations

Today, the festival of Nowruz is celebrated in many countries that were territories of, or influenced by, the Persian Empire: Iran, Various Iranian Peoples including Kurds, Afghanistan, parts of the Middle East, as well as in the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is also celebrated by the Zoroastrians as well by certain Iranic inhabitants in Pakistan's Chitral region and Northern Areas. It is also celebrated by the Iranian immigrants from Shiraz in Zanzibar.[28] it is called Nevruz in Turkic, Uyghurs who live in Northwestern China call it "Noruz", and it is called Sultan Nevruz in Albanian. In some remote communities located in parts of western Iran, the holiday is referred to as Nuroj, which literally means New Day in the Kurdish language.

Nowruz around the world

Nowruz is celebrated in Greater Iran, Caucasus, Central Asia and by Iranians worldwide. It is a public holiday in Iran, Tajikistan [29], Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan [30], Uzbekistan [31], Kashmir [32], and Kyrgyzstan [33]. Also the Canadian parliament by unanimous consent, has passed a bill to add Nowruz to the national calendar of Canada, on March 30, 2009.[34][35]

In Albania Sultan Nevruz is celebrated as a mainly mystical day by the Bektashi sect, and there are special ceremonies in the Tekke led by the clergy and large meals are served there. They celebrate this day as the birthday of Ali. Also all Albanians celebrate a secular version of Nowruz, called Spring Day. Nowruz is also celebrated by Kurds in Iraq[36] and Turkey[37] as well as by Parsis in the Indian subcontinent.

Other notable celebrations take place by Iranians around the world, such as Los Angeles, Toronto, Cologne and in United Kingdom, mainly in London [38].

But because Los Angeles is prone to devastating fires, there are very strict fire codes in the city. No fires are allowed even on one's own property. Usually, Iranians living in Southern California go to the beaches to celebrate the event where it is permissible to build fires.[39]

Attempts to suppress Nowruz following the Iranian Revolution met with very little success.[40]

In Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban, Nowruz was banned until 2001 where it came back as popular as it was before the Taliban.[41]

It is also a holy day for Alawites[4], Alevis, and adherents of the Bahá'í Faith.[5]

Nowruz celebration in Iran

A Haft sin table in Tehran.

Nowruz is the most important holiday in Iran. Preparations for Nowruz begin in the month Esfand (or Espand), the last month of winter in the Persian solar calendar.

Spring cleaning and visiting one another

Spring cleaning, or Khouneh Tekouni (literally means 'shaking the house') or 'complete cleaning of the house' is commonly performed before Nowruz. Persians (Iranians and Tajiks) and other groups (Kurds, Armenians, Azarbaijanis and Balochs) start preparing for the Nowruz with a major spring-cleaning of their houses, the purchase of new clothes to wear for the new year and the purchase of flowers (in particular the hyacinth and the tulip are popular and conspicuous).

In association with the "rebirth of nature", extensive spring-cleaning is a national tradition observed by almost every household in Iran. This is also extended to personal attire, and it is customary to buy at least one set of new clothes. On the New Year's Day, families dress in their new clothes and start the twelve-day celebrations by visiting the elders of their family, then the rest of their family and finally their friends. On the thirteenth day families leave their homes and picnic outdoors.

During the Nowruz holidays, people are expected to visit one another (mostly limited to families, friends and neighbors) in the form of short house visits, which are usually reciprocated. Typically, on the first day of Nowruz, family members gather around the table, with the Haft Seen on the table or set next to it, and await the exact moment of the arrival of the spring. At that time gifts are exchanged. Later in the day, the first house visits are paid to the most senior family members. Typically, the youth will visit the elders first, and the elders return their visit later. When in previous year, a family member is deceased, the tradition is to visit that family first (among the elders). The visits naturally have to be relatively short, otherwise one will not be able to visit everybody on their list. A typical visit is around 30 minutes, where you often run into other visiting relatives and friends who happen to be paying a visit to the same house at that time. Because of the house visits, you make sure you have a sufficient supply of pastry, cookies, fresh and dried fruits and special nuts on hand, as you typically serve your visitors with these items with tea or sherbet. Many Iranians will throw large Nowruz parties in a central location as a way of dealing with the long distances between groups of friends and family.

Some Nowruz celebrants believe that whatever a person does on Nowruz will affect the rest of the year. So, if a person is warm and kind to their relatives, friends and neighbors on Nowruz, then the new year will be a good one. On the other hand, if there are fights and disagreements, the year will be a bad one.

It is customary to visit the cemeteries in last Thursday night of the year or in last Friday morning and read the Sura Al-Fatiha for the passed members of the family,friends or any other deceased ones in the cemetery.

One tradition that may not be very widespread (that is, it may belong to only a few families)[citation needed] is to place something sweet, such as honey or candy, in a safe place outside overnight. On the first morning of the new year, the first person up brings the sweet stuff into the house as another means of attaining a good new year.

Chahārshanbe Sūrī

Chehel Sotoun's Wall painting, that dates back to the Safavid era, depicts a Chaharshanbe Suri celebration.

The night before the last Wednesday of the year is celebrated by the Iranian people as Chahârshanbe Sûrî (Persian: چهارشنبه سوری, Azerbaijani: Od çərşənbəsi, Kurdish: Çarşema Sor[42][43], چوارشه‌مه‌ سوورێ meaning red Wednesday), the Iranian festival of fire. This festival is the celebration of the light (the good) winning over the darkness (the bad); the symbolism behind the rituals are all rooted back to Zoroastrianism.

The tradition includes people going into the streets and alleys to make bonfires, and jump over them while singing the traditional song Zardî-ye man az (ane) to, sorkhî-ye to az (ane) man ("az-ane to" means belongs to you); This literally translates to "My yellowness is yours, your redness is mine," with the figurative message "My paleness (pain, sickness) for you (the fire), your strength (health) for me." The fire is believed to burn out all the fear (yellowness) in their subconscious or their spirit, in preparation for new year.

Serving different kinds of pastry and nuts known as Ajīl-e Moshkel-Goshā (lit. problem-solving nuts) is the Chahārshanbe Sūrī way of giving thanks for the previous year's health and happiness, while exchanging any remaining paleness and evil for the warmth and vibrancy of the fire.

According to tradition, the living are visited by the spirit of their ancestors on the last days of the year, and many children wrap themselves in shrouds, symbolically re-enacting the visits. They also run through the streets banging on pots and pans with spoons and knocking on doors to ask for treats. The ritual is called qashogh-zany (spoon beating) and symbolizes the beating out of the last unlucky Wednesday of the year ( See also Trick-or-treating).

There are several other traditions on this night, including: the rituals of Kūze Shekastan, the breaking of earthen jars which symbolically hold one's bad fortune; the ritual of Fal-Gûsh (lit.Divination by ear), or inferring one's future from the conversations of those passing by[44]; and the ritual of Gereh-goshā’ī, making a knot in the corner of a handkerchief or garment and asking the first passerby to unravel it in order to remove ones misfortune.

Haft Sīn

Haft Sīn (هفت سین) or the seven 'S's is a major tradition of Nowruz. The haft sin table includes seven specific items starting with the letter 'S' or Sīn (س) in the Persian alphabet. The items symbolically correspond to seven creations and holy immortals called Amesha Sepanta protecting them. The seven elements of Life, namely Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Plants, Animals, and Human, are represented. They also have Astrological correlations to five planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Sun and Moon. With the advent of Islam the word Amesha Sepanta shortened to and eventually was remembered by just the letter S and the number 7. The Haft Sin has evolved over time, but has kept its symbolism. Traditionally, families attempt to set as beautiful a Haft Sīn table as they can, as it is not only of traditional and spiritual value, but also noticed by visitors during Nowruzi visitations and is a reflection of their good taste.

Haft-Sin

The Haft Sīn items are:

  • sabzeh - wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish - symbolizing rebirth
  • samanu - a sweet pudding made from wheat germ - symbolizing affluence
  • senjed - the dried fruit of the oleaster tree - symbolizing love
  • sīr - garlic - symbolizing medicine
  • sīb - apples - symbolizing beauty and health
  • somaq - sumac berries - symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
  • serkeh - vinegar - symbolizing age and patience

Other items on the table may include:

  • Sonbol - Hyacinth (plant)
  • Sekkeh - Coins - representative of wealth
  • traditional Iranian pastries such as baghlava, toot, naan-nokhodchi
  • Aajeel - dried nuts, berries and raisins
  • lit candles (enlightenment and happiness)
  • a mirror (symbolizing cleanness and honesty)
  • decorated eggs, sometimes one for each member of the family (fertility)
  • a bowl of water with goldfish (life within life, and the sign of Pisces which the sun is leaving). As an essential object of the Nowruz table, this goldfish is also "very ancient and meaningful" and with Zoroastrian connection.[45]
  • rosewater, believed to have magical cleansing powers
  • the national colours, for a patriotic touch
  • a holy book (e.g., the Avesta, Qur'an, Bible, Torah, or Kitáb-i-Aqdas) and/or a poetry book (almost always either the Shahnama or the Divan of Hafez)

Haji Firouz

Haji Firuz in Tehran

The traditional herald of the Nowruz season is a man called Hājī Fīrūz (or Khwāja Pīrūz). He symbolizes the rebirth of the Sumerian god of sacrifice, Domuzi, who was killed at the end of each year and reborn at the beginning of the New Year.

He usually uses face paint to make his skin black (black is an ancient Persian symbol of good luck—maybe from their black bird) and wears a red costume. Then he sings and dances through the streets with tambourines and trumpets spreading good cheer and heralds the coming of the New Year. Mehrdad Bahar, Iranologist, suggests in his book that this borrowing of the Domuzi/Tammuz tradition from the ancient non-Iranian civilizations in Mesopotamia happened with the arrival of the Iranian tribes to the western parts of the Iranian Plateau at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. This borrowing, according to Bahar, may be true for the whole Nowruz tradition itself as Indo-Iranian tribes before that did not have this tradition while the civilizations of Mesopotamia did. This later spread to all areas where Iranian culture was present, but was lost by the non-Iranian cultures of Mesopotamia.

New Year dishes

  • Sabzi Polo Mahi: The New Year's Day traditional meal is called Sabzi Polo Mahi, which is rice with green herbs served with fish. The traditional seasoning for Sabzi Polo are parsley, coriander, chives, dill and fenugreek.
  • Reshteh Polo: rice cooked with noodles which is said to symbolically help one succeed in life.
  • Dolme Barg : A traditional dish of Azeri people, cooked just before the new year. It includes some vegetables, meat and cotyledon which have been cooked and embedded in vine leaf and cooked again. It is considered useful in reaching to wishes.
  • Kookoo sabzi : Herbs and vegetable souffle, traditionally served for dinner at New Year. A light and fluffy omelet style made from parsley, dill, coriander, spinach, spring onion ends, and chives, mixed with eggs and walnut.

Sizdah Bedar

The thirteenth day of the new year festival is Sizdah Bedar (literally meaning "passing the thirteenth day", figuratively meaning "Passing the bad luck of the thirteenth day"). This is a day of festivity in the open, often accompanied by music and dancing, usually at family picnics.

Sizdah bedar celebrations stem from the ancient Persians' belief that the twelve constellations in the Zodiac controlled the months of the year, and each ruled the earth for a thousand years at the end of which the sky and earth collapsed in chaos. Hence Nowruz lasts twelve days and the thirteenth day represents the time of chaos when families put order aside and avoid the bad luck associated with the number thirteen by going outdoors and having picnics and parties.

At the end of the celebrations on this day, the sabzeh grown for the Haft Seen (which has symbolically collected all sickness and bad luck) is thrown into running water to exorcise the demons (divs) from the household. It is also customary for young single women to tie the leaves of the sabzeh before discarding it, so expressing a wish to be married before the next year's Sizdah Bedar. Another tradition associated with this day is Dorugh-e Sizdah, literally meaning "the lie of the thirteenth", which is the process of lying to someone and making them believe it (similar to April Fools Day).

Nowruz in Afghanistan

Cooking samanu (or samanak) is a Nowruz tradition in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan

In Afghanistan, Nowroz festival is traditionally celebrated for 2 weeks. Preparations for Nowroz start several days beforehand, at least after Chaharshanbe Suri, the last Wednesday before the New Year. Among various traditions and customs, the most important ones are:

  • Haft Mēwa: In Afghanistan, they prepare Haft Mēwa (Seven Fruits) instead of Haft Sin which is common in Iran. Haft Mewa is like a Fruit salad made from 7 different Dried fruits, served in their own syrup. The 7 dried fruits are: Raisin, Senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), Pistachio, Hazelnut, Prune (dry fruit of Apricot), Walnut and whether Almond or another species of Plum fruit.
  • Samanak: It is a special type of sweet dish made from Wheat germ. Women take a special party for it during the night, and cook it from late in the evening till the daylight, singing a special song: Samanak dar Josh o mā Kafcha zanem - Degarān dar Khwāb o mā Dafcha zanem
  • Mēla-e Gul-e Surkh (Persian: ميله‌ى گل سرخ): The Guli Surkh festival which literally means Red Flower Festival (referring to the red Tulip flowers) is an old festival celebrated only in Mazari Sharif during the first 40 days of the year when the Tulip flowers grow. People travel from different parts of the country to Mazar in order to attend the festival. It is celebrated along with the Jahenda Bālā ceremony which is a specific religious ceremony performed in the holy blue mosque of Mazar that is believed (mostly by Sunnite Afghans) to be the site of the tomb of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph of Islam. The ceremony is performed by raising a special banner (whose color configuration resembles Derafsh Kaviani) in the blue mosque in the first day of year (i.e. Nowroz). The Guli Surkh party continues with other special activities among people in the Tulip fields and around the blue mosque for 40 days.
  • Buzkashi: Along with other customs and celebrations, normally a Buzkashi tournament is held. The Buzkashi matches take place in northern cities of Afghanistan and in Kabul.
  • Special cuisines: People cook special types of dishes for Nowroz, especially on the eve of Nowroz. Normally they cook Sabzi Chalaw, a dish made from rice and spinach, separately. Moreover, the bakeries prepare a special type of cookie, called Kulcha-e Nowrozī, which is only baked for Nowroz. Another dish which is prepared mostly for the Nowroz days is Māhī wa Jelabī (Fried Fish and Jelabi) and it is the most often meal in picnics. In Afghanistan, it is a common custom among the affianced families that the fiancé's family give presents to or prepare special dishes for the fiancée's family on special occasions such as in the two Eids, Barā'at and in Nowroz. Hence, the special dish for Nowroz is Māhī wa Jelabī.
  • Sightseeing to Cercis fields: The citizens of Kabul go to Istalif, Charikar or other green places around where the Cercis flowers grow. They go for picnic with their families during the first 2 weeks of New Year.
  • Jashni Dehqān: Jashni Dehqan means The Festival of Farmers. It is celebrated in the first day of year, in which the farmers walk in the cities as a sign of encouragement for the agricultural productions. In recent years, this activity is being performed only in Kabul and other major cities, in which the mayor and other high governmental personalities participate for watching and observing.

Nowruz celebrations by Pashtuns

Pashtuns celebrate Newai Kaal (Pashto: نوى كال, meaning "new year") on the March equinox, which is considered the first day of spring. The festival of Newai Khwazun (Pashto: نوى خوځون, literally meaning "new movement"), traditionally celebrated by Pashtun nomads when they migrate to their summer pastures, also falls on this day.

Newroz celebration by Kurds

"Churshama Kulla" is the tradition where people jump over the fire. It is celebrated as a national emblem in Kurdistan. In this Picture Kurds in Istanbul celebrate Newroz through coming together and showing their cultural unity.
A statue of Zakia Alkan, the women who set herself on fire to protest the Turkish ban on Nowruz, Sulaymaniyah.

Although the Kurds celebrate Nowruz, it was not however until 2005 that Kurdish population of Turkey could celebrate their new year openly.[46] "Thousands of people have been detained in Turkey, as the authorities take action against suspected supporters of the Kurdish rebel movement, the PKK.[47]. The holiday is now official in Turkey after international pressure on the Turkish government to lift culture bans. Turkish government renamed the holiday Newroz in 1995, and reclaimed it as a Turkish holiday[48].

The word 'Newroz' is Kurdish for 'Nowruz'. The Kurds celebrate this feast between 18th till 21 March. It is one of the few ‘people's celebrations’ that has survived and predates all the major religious festivals. The holiday is considered by Kurds to be the single most important holiday of every year.

With this festival Kurds gather into the fairgrounds mostly outside the cities to welcome spring. Women wear colored dresses and spangled head scarves and young men wave flags of green, yellow and red, the colors of the Kurdish people. They hold this festival by lighting fire and dancing around it.[49].

The main Kurdish greeting that accompanies the festival is Newroz pîroz be! literally translating to Holy Newroz, or, simply, Happy Newroz!. Another greeting used is, Bijî Newroz!, simply meaning Long live Newroz!

Newroz is still largely considered as a potent symbol of Kurdish identity in Turkey. Newroz celebrations are usually organised by Kurdish cultural associations and pro-Kurdish political parties. Thus, the Democratic Society Party was a leading force in the organisation of the 2006 Newroz events throughout Turkey. In recent years the Newroz celebration gathers around 1 million participants in Diyarbakır, the biggest city of the Kurdish dominated Southeastern Turkey. As the Kurdish Newroz celebrations in Turkey often are theater for political messages, the events are frequently criticized for being political rallies rather than cultural celebrations.

In other largely populated Kurdish regions in the Middle East including Iraq and Syria, similar celebrations are carried out with fire, dancing and music. In Iran, it is the most important festival of the whole year.

In Kurdistan, jumping over the fire (known as Chuwarshama Kulla) happens on New Year's Eve (rather the last Tuesday of the year).

Novruz in Azerbaijan

A 1996 Azerbaijani postage stamp issued for Novruz.

Azerbaijan is a country where national traditions are well preserved. One of the most oldest traditions of Azerbaijani people is the celebration of Novruz and is a cherished holiday of a New Year and spring.

Preparations for Novruz start long before the holiday. People do house cleaning, plant trees, make new dresses, paint eggs, make national pastries such as shakarbura, pakhlava and a great variety of national cuisine. Wheat is fried with kishmish (raisins) and nuts (govurga). It is essential for every house to have Samani (Samanu) - sprouts of wheat. As a tribute to fire-worshiping every Tuesday during four weeks before the holiday kids jump over small bonfires and candles are lit. On the holiday eve the graves of relatives are visited and tended.[50]

Novruz is a family holiday. In the evening before the holiday the whole family gathers around the holiday table laid with various dishes to make the New Year rich. The holiday goes on for several days and ends with festive public dancing and other entertainment of folk bands, contests of national sports. In rural areas crop holidays are marked.[51]

Nowruz in the Zoroastrian faith

Zoroastrians worldwide celebrate Nowruz as the first day of the New Year. Parsi Zoroastrians of South Asian origin celebrate it as "Nowroj", "Navroz", or "Navroj" on the fixed day of March 21, while Zoroastrians of Iranian background generally celebrate, like other Iranians, on the actual Spring Equinox date. Because different Zoroastrian communities in India/Pakistan and Iran have evolved slightly different calendar systems, there is some variance. Adherents of the Fasli variant of the Zoroastrian calendar celebrate Nowruz in March, but today, most other Zoroastrians also celebrate on this day.

Other variants of the Zoroastrian calendar celebrate the Nowruz twice: once as Jamshedi Nowruz on March 21 as the start of spring, and a second Nowruz, in July/August (see Variations of the Zoroastrian calendar), as either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. That the second Nowruz is celebrated after the last day of the year, known as Pateti, which comes after a Muktad period of days remembering the dead. Many Parsis are confused by this, and mistakenly celebrate Pateti as if it were Nowruz, when in fact Nowruz is the day after. Some attribute this confusion by some as celebrating the last day of the year (contrary to what might be expected from a term that means "new day"), may be due to the fact that in ancient Persia the day began at sunset, while in later Persian belief the day began at sunrise.

Zoroastrians of Iranian origin generally put up a Haft Sin table as do other Iranians. Zoroastrians of Parsi (South Asian) origin do not traditionally use a Haft Sin. They set up a standard "sesh" tray- generally a silver tray, with a container of rose water, a container with betel nut, raw rice, raw sugar, flowers, a picture of Zarathustra the prophet, and either a floating wick in a glass filled with water topped with oil for fuel, or an "afargania", a silver urn with a small fire nourished by sandalwood and other fragrant resins.

Nowruz in the Twelver Shi’a faith

Along with Ismaili’s, Alawites and Alevis, the Twelver Shi’a also hold the day of Nowruz in high regard. The day upon which Nowruz falls has been recommended as a day of fasting for Twelver Shi’a Muslims by Shi’a scholars, including Abul-Qassim al-Khoei, Imam Khomeini[52] and Ali al-Sistani.[53]

Naw-Rúz in the Bahá'í Faith

Naw-Rúz in the Bahá'í Faith is one of nine holy days for adherents of the Bahá'í Faith worldwide and the first day of the Bahá'í calendar occurring on the vernal equinox, around March 21.[54] The Bahá'í calendar is composed of 19 months, each of 19 days,[55] and each of the months is named after an attribute of God; similarly each of the nineteen days in the month also are named after an attribute of God.[55] The first day and the first month were given the attribute of Bahá, an Arabic word meaning splendour or glory, and thus the first day of the year was the day of Bahá in the month of Bahá.[54][56] Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, explained that Naw-Rúz was associated with the Most Great Name of God,[54][56] and was instituted as a festival for those who observed the Nineteen day fast.[57][58]

The day is also used to symbolize the renewal of time in each religious dispensation.[59] `Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's son and successor, explained that significance of Naw-Rúz in terms of spring and the new life it brings.[54] He explained that the equinox is a symbol of the messengers of God and the message that they proclaim is like a spiritual springtime, and that Naw-Rúz is used to commemorate it.[60]

As with all Bahá'í holy days, there are few fixed rules for observing Naw-Rúz, and Bahá'ís all over the world celebrate it as a festive day, according to local custom.[54] Persian Bahá'ís still observe many of the Iranian customs associated with Nowruz such as the Haft Sîn, but American Bahá'í communities, for example, may have a potluck dinner, along with prayers and readings from Bahá'í scripture.

Navroz celebration by Parsis

In the Fasli/Bastani variant of the Zoroastrian calendar, Navroz is always the day of the vernal equinox (nominally falling on March 21). In the Shahenshahi and Kadmi calendars, which do not account for leap years, the New Year's Day has drifted ahead by over 200 days. These latter two variants of the calendar, which are only followed by the Zoroastrians of India, celebrate the spring equinox as Jamshed-i Nouroz, with New Year's Day then being celebrated in July-August as Pateti "(day) of penitence" (from patet "confession," hence also repentance and penitence).

Navroz celebration by Kashmiri Pandits

The Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Navroz (or Navreh in Kashmiri) on a date around the vernal equinox. The date, which usually falls between mid-March and mid-April, is determined by the Hindu lunar calendar every year.

Thal Bharun (meaning 'filling the platter') is a major Kashmiri Pandit Navroz tradition. It is similar to the Iranian tradition of Haft Sin. The items placed on the tray or platter generally include rice or wheat (similar to the Iranian sabzeh), a sweet pudding made from milk and cereal (similar to the Iranian samanu), fruits, walnuts,rosewater, a coin (Sikkeh), a pen, an ink-holder, a mirror (for introspection, purity of thought and honesty), and a lit diya or clay lamp (representing satyaprakasa, the Light of the Truth). Besides, new clothes are worn and presents are exchanged. Some adults, particularly women, fast on this day.

Spelling variations in English

A variety of spelling variations for the word "nowruz" exist in English-language usage. Random House (unabridged) provides the spelling "nowruz".[61] Merriam-Webster (2006) recognizes only the spelling "nauruz" (and a contestant in the final session of the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Allion Salvador, in the United States was disqualified on that basis[62][63]). In the USA, many respected figures in the field of language such as Dr. Yarshater at Columbia University have suggested to use Nowruz[citation needed].

See also

References

  1. ^ Josef W. Meri, Jere L. Bacharach, "Medieval Islamic Civilization: L-Z, index ", Taylor & Francis, 2006. pp 605: "Buyid rulers such as Azud al-Dawla resusciated a number of pre-islamic Iranian practices, most notably the titular of shahanshah (king of kings) and the celebration of the Persian New Year
  2. ^ Boyce, M. Festivals. I. Zoroastrian. Encyclopaedia Iranica.
  3. ^ a b The Judaic tradition » Jewish myth and legend » Sources and development » Myth and legend in the Persian period. "Encyclopaedia Britannica". http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/307197/Judaism/35340/Sources-and-development#ref=ref299743. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  4. ^ a b "But they also celebrate some of the same festivals as the Christians, like Christmas and Epiphany, as well as Nawruz, which originally is the Zoroastrian New Year."
  5. ^ a b "The Baha'i Calendar". http://www.bahai.us/bahai-calendar. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  6. ^ Norouz in the Course of History
  7. ^ http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/ga10916.doc.htm
  8. ^ Novruz, Nowrouz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz, Nevruz: Inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, UNESCO.
  9. ^ Noruz and Iranian radifs registered on UNESCO list, Tehran Times, 1 October 2009, [1].
  10. ^ Persian music, Nowruz make it into UN heritage list, Press TV, 1 October 2009, [2].
  11. ^ Nowruz became international, in Persian, BBC Persian, Wednesday, 30 September 2009, [3].
  12. ^ http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-02-24/un-officially-recognizes-march-21-as-international-nowruz-day.html
  13. ^ House Passes Historic Norooz (sic) Resolution, National Iranian American Council, Monday, 15 March 2010.
  14. ^ Legislative Digest, GOP.gov, H.Res. 267.
  15. ^ R. Abdollahy, CALENDARS ii. Islamic period, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. 4, London-Newyork, 1990.
  16. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica, "Festivals: Zoroastrian" Boyce, Mary
  17. ^ Moazami, M. "The Legend of the Flood in Zoroastrian Tradition." Persica 18: 55-74, (2002)Document Details
  18. ^ Shahnameh:a new translation by Dick Davis, Viking Adult, 2006. pg 7
  19. ^ برگرفته از: «گنجينه‌ي سخن»، تأليف دكتر ذبيح الله صفا، انتشارات اميركبير، 1370، جلد يكم، ص 292 Original excerpt: نخستين روز است از فروردين ماه و از اين جهت، روز نو نام كرده‌اند؛ زيرا كه پيشاني سال نو است و آن چه از پس اوست از اين پنج روز [= پنج روز اول فروردين] همه جشن‌هاست. و ششم فروردين ماه را «نوروز بزرگ» دارند؛ زيرا كه خسروان بدان پنج روز حق‌هاي حشم و گروهان و بزرگان بگزاردندي و حاجت‌ها روا كردني، آن گاه بدين روز ششم خلوت كردندي خاصگان را. و اعتقاد پارسيان اندر نوروز نخستين آن است كه اول روزي است از زمانه و بدو، فلك آغازيد گشتن.
  20. ^ GARDĪZĪ,ABŪ SAʿĪD ʿABD-al-ḤAYY b. Żaḥḥāk b. Maḥmūd in Encyclopedia Iranica by C. EDMUND BOSWORTH [4]
  21. ^ Tārīkh-i Gardīzī / taʾlīf, Abū Saʻīd ʻAbd al-Ḥayy ibn Zahāk ibn Maḥmūd Gardīzī ; bih taṣḥīḥ va taḥshiyah va taʻlīq, ʻAbd al-Ḥayy Ḥabībī. Tihrān : Dunyā-yi Kitāb, 1363 [1984 or 1985]. excerpt from page 520: مهرگان بزرگ باشد، و بعضی از مغان چنین گویند: که این فیروزی فریدون بر بیوراسپ، رام روز بودست از مهرماه، و زردشت که مغان او را به پیغمبری دارند، ایشان را فرموده است بزرگ داشتن این روز، و روز نوروز را.
  22. ^ Laura Foreman, "Alexander the Conqueror: The Epic Story of the Warrior King",Da Capo Press, 2004. pg 80: "The procession of the gift bearers was part of the annual New Year's rite in which Achaemenid monarchs renewed and reaffirmed their kingshp". Alexander the Conqueror: The Epic Story of the Warrior King J.M. Cook, 'The rise of the Achaemenids and establishment of their empire' in: Ilya Gershevitch (ed.): The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. II: The Median and Achaemenian Periods, 1985 Cambridge, page 237:Darius built a great fortified terrace four miles to the south, at which he and some of his successors constructed palaces. This latter is what is known as Persepolis. It is sometimes asserted that the Kings went there for the New Year festival at the vernal Equinox and that the relief of Apadana are realistic representation of a procession that actually took place there, with delegations of all the subject people coming with their gifts.
  23. ^ a b A History of Zoroastrianism: Under the Achaemenians By Mary Boyce, Frantz Grenet Published by BRILL, 1982 ISBN 9004065067, 9789004065062, page 3-4
  24. ^ a b Rezakhani, Khodadad. "Nowruz in History". http://www.iranologie.com/history/nowruz-hist.html. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  25. ^ Christopher Tuplin; Vincent Azoulay, Xenophon and His World: Papers from a Conference Held in Liverpool in July 1999, Published by Franz Steiner Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3515083928, p.148.
  26. ^ John R. Hinnells, "Mithraic studies: proceedings", Edition: illustrated, Published by Manchester University Press ND, 1975, ISBN 0719005361, 9780719005367, Page 307
  27. ^ Umar ibn Ibrahim Khayyam ; bih kushish-i ʻAli Ḥuṣuri., "Nowruznamah", Tehran : Nashr-i Chashmah, 1379 [2000]. Original Persian excerpt:آئین ملوک عجم از گاه کی‌خسرو تا به روزگار یزدجرد شهریار که آخرین ملوک عجم بود، چنان بوده است که روز نوروز نخست کس از مردمان بیگانه، موبد موبدان پیش ملک آمدی با جام زرین پر می و انگشتری و درمی و دیناری خسروانی و یک دسته خوید سبز رسته و شمشیری و تیرکمان و دوات و قلم و اسپی و بازی و غلامی خوب‌روی و ستایش نمودی و نیایش کردی او را به زبان پارسی به عبارت ایشان. چون موبد موبدان از آفرین بپرداختی، پس بزرگان دولت آمدندی و خدمت‌ها پیش آوردندی. آن‌چه که موبد موبدان به شاه می‌گوید، : شها، به جشن فروردین به ماه فروردین، به آزادی گزین یزدان و دین کیان، سروش آورد تو را دانائی و بینائی به کاردانی و دی‌زی و با خوی هژیر و شادباش بر تخت زرین و انوشه خور به جام جمشید و رسم نیاکان در همت بلند و نیکوکاری و ورزش داد و راستی نگاه‌دار، سرت سبزباد و جوانی چو خوید، اسپت کامکار و پیروز و تیغت روشن و کاری به دشمن و بازت گیرا و خجسته به درم و دینار، پیشت هنری و دانا گرامی و درم خوار و سرایت آباد و زندگانی بسیار
  28. ^ Rostami, Hoda (2007-03-17). "Yek Jahan Noruz (meaning: Worldwide Nowruz)". Saman (Publication of Iranian National Tax Administration) (23). 
  29. ^ BBCPersian.com
  30. ^ Turkmen President Urges Youth To Read 'Rukhnama'
  31. ^ UZBEK PRESIDENT SAYS HUSSEIN MUST BE DISARMED
  32. ^ kashland.com
  33. ^ Norouz in Kyrgyzstan
  34. ^ "Canada parliament recognizes 'Nowruz Day'". PRESS TV. 3 April 2009. http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=90377&sectionid=3510212. Retrieved 4 April 2009. 
  35. ^ "BILL C-342". House of Commons of Canada. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=3761904&file=4. Retrieved 4 April 2009. 
  36. ^ In pictures: Norouz - New Year festival
  37. ^ Clashes erupt at Turkey's Dita e Verës. spring festival
  38. ^ BBCPersian.com
  39. ^ Novruz... Celebration That Would Not Die
  40. ^ New York Times, March 20, 2006, Ayatollahs Aside, Iranians Jump for Joy at Spring By MICHAEL SLACKMAN; NAZILA FATHI CONTRIBUTED REPORTING FROM TEHRAN FOR THIS ARTICLE [5]
  41. ^ http://usembassy-israel.org.il/publish/peace/archives/2002/march/032109.html
  42. ^ [6] Among the Yazidis, this festival is celebrated on the first Wednesday of Nisan (April) which marks the first day of their new year (rather than March 21st). It is also called Cejna Sersal(New Year's Feast)[7]
  43. ^ [8]
  44. ^ OMIDSALAR, MAHMOUD. "DIVINATION". Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranica.com/newsite/index.isc?Article=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/unicode/v7f4/v7f482.html. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  45. ^ A. Shahbazi, "Haft Sin"], Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol 11, London, Newyork, 2003.
  46. ^ Zaki Chehab, Inside the resistance: the Iraqi insurgency and the future of the Middle East, Published by Nation Books, 2005, ISBN 1560257466, p. 198
  47. ^ Turkish police arrest thousands
  48. ^ Marianne Heiberg, Brendan O'Leary, John Tirman. Terror, Insurgency, and the State: Ending Protracted Conflicts, p. 337.
  49. ^ Kurdistan turco
  50. ^ Azerbaijani traditions
  51. ^ Studentsoftheworld - Azeri Traditions
  52. ^ Tahrir al Wasila, by Ayatollah Khomeini, Vol.1, pg.302-303
  53. ^ Islamic Laws, by Ali al-Sistani, under the section; “Mustahab Fasts”
  54. ^ a b c d e Walbridge, John (2004-07-11). "Naw-Ruz: The Bahá'í New Year". http://bahai-library.com/index.php5?file=walbridge_encyclopedia_nawruz. Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  55. ^ a b Esslemont, J.E. (1980). Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era (5th ed.). Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 178–179. ISBN 0877431604. http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/je/BNE/. 
  56. ^ a b Lehman, Dale E. (2000-03-18). "A New Year Begins". Planet Bahá'í. http://www.planetbahai.org/cgi-bin/articles.pl?article=46. Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  57. ^ Bahá'u'lláh (1991). Bahá'í Prayers. Wilmitte, IL: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 261. 
  58. ^ Bahá'u'lláh (1992) [1873]. The Kitáb-i-Aqdas: The Most Holy Book. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 25. ISBN 0853989990. http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/KA/ka-4.html.iso8859-1#pg25. 
  59. ^ MacEoin, Dennis (1989). "Bahai Calendar and Festivals". Encyclopædia Iranica. 
  60. ^ `Abdu'l-Bahá (1913-03-21). Star of the West. 4. pp. 4.  republished in Effendi, Shoghi; The Universal House of Justice (1983). Hornby, Helen (Ed.). ed. Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, New Delhi, India. ISBN 8185091463. http://bahai-library.com/?file=hornby_lights_guidance. 
  61. ^ Random House dictionary (unabridged), 2006 (according to Dictionary.reference.com).
  62. ^ 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 31 - June 1, 2006
  63. ^ Spelling BEESAVAD

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