Assyrian New Year

Assyrian New Year Quick Facts

AKA NameKha b-Nisan, Ha b' Nisin, First of April, Resha d'Sheta, Head of the year, Akitu
Hashtags#AssyrianNewYear
Related Hashtags#Assyrian, #Akitu, #Akitu6771
2022 DateApril 1, 2022
2023 DateApril 1, 2023
Assyrian New Year

Assyrian New Year History

Assyrian New Year seeks to celebrate the beginning of spring. Also known as Akitu, or Ras al-Sanna al-Ashuriya ((رأس السنة الآشورية ), this day goes back to ancient Mesopotamia when people celebrated the sowing of barley. As part of the Babylonian calendar, this day was treated as the first of the year. It marked the rebirth of nature in spring.

Assyrian New Year is recognized and celebrated by millions of Assyrians. Celebrations include marches, parades, and parties. It is observed annually on April 1st.

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Assyrian New Year Facts

  • In ancient Assyria, the New Year festival was celebrated for 12 days. Antique objects such as cuneiform tablets have shown that this celebration was the most significant event of the year.
  • After the formation of Turkey, the Assyrian New Year along with the Nowruz were debarred as public celebrations. Assyrians in Turkey were first permitted to publicly celebrate Kha b’ Nisan in 2005.
  • The Assyrian New Year has a few names. Kha b’ Nisan or Ha b’ Nisin, means the “First of April”, while Resha d’Sheta translates to “Head of the year” in Assyrian. Akitu, the Akkadian name for the Assyrian New Year is also commonly used. The Assyrian New Year is a spring festival celebrated on April 1.
  • The Assyrian New Year was the biggest festival in the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian Empires.

Assyrian New Year Top Events and Things to Do

  • It is custom to celebrate Assyrian New Year by holding parties, picnics, and parades. It’s not unusual to see men and women together wearing traditional clothes and dancing in parks for hours, or families holed up in cultural centers enjoying many hours of poetry. This party is recognized as the Re sha d’sheta for Assyrians in Iraq and throughout the diaspora.
  • Participate in a beautiful tradition where Assyrian girls fold flowers and herbs which are then suspended from the roof. It is known as Diqna d’ Nisan, meaning "Beard of April/Spring".
  • Attend one of the many Assyrian New Year parades. Located in Chicago, Illinois, the North Side parade is one of the largest Assyrian celebrations during Assyrian New Year. It's held annually and begins at Western and Granville. It continues north to Western and Pratt.

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