International Day of Nowruz

Quick Facts - CA

HashtagsCompiled on#Nowruz
Related Hashtags#Iran, #KingRezaPahlavi‌
2024 DateMarch 21, 2024
2025 DateMarch 21, 2025

International Day of Nowruz

International Day of Nowruz in
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International Day of Nowruz History

International Day of Nowruz recognizes an age-old tradition that marks the beginning of spring and a new year in Iranian calendars. Encompassing a wealth of cultural diversity and inclusivity, Nowruz, Persian for "new day," promotes values of peace, solidarity between generations and within families, communal support and neighborliness, and respect for cultural diversity and nature’s renewal. It is a day that encourages reconnecting with nature and cultural roots and is inclusive for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity or religion.

Nowruz is celebrated by over 300 million people worldwide, and its rich history extends back over 3,000 years to the time of the Persian Empire. In 2010, the International Day of Nowruz was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, fortifying its standing as a significant cultural celebration. For Canadians, particularly those of Iranian, Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Afghan, and Tajik descent, this day represents an essential link to their cultural heritage. The celebration upholds the ideas of multiculturalism and diversity, values that echo Canada's societal principles.

In Canada, the observance of International Day of Nowruz varies. Various communities host cultural events, parades, dances, meals, and display Haft-Sin tables adorned with seven symbolic items all starting with the letter "S" in the Persian language. Public declarations by governmental bodies, including the Prime Minister, are also commonplace, recognizing the contributions of those who celebrate Nowruz to the multicultural tapestry of Canada. Typically, International Day of Nowruz in Canada occurs on March 21st, matching the start of the Persian New Year.

Facts about International Day of Nowruz

  • International Day of Nowruz is celebrated by many countries in western, central, and southern Asia. These include Afghanistan, Georgia, Albania, Iran, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan.
  • The oldest records of Nowruz go back to 247 B.C during the Arsacid/Parthian times.
  • One tradition during Nowruz is to pay short house visits to family, friends, and neighbors.
  • The International Day of Nowruz is celebrated by more than 300,000 Iranians residing in Canada along with other communities such as Afghans, Kurds, Tajiks, and some Turkish groups.
  • In some areas, events are held where people jump over a bonfire in a ritual known as Chaharshanbe Suri, which takes place before the start of Nowruz. This tradition is seen as a purification rite.

Top things to do in Canada for International Day of Nowruz

  • Give your family members gifts. On the first day of Nowruz, family members gather around the Haft Seen table and await the exact moment of spring. Once it arrivesm, everyone exchanges gifts.
  • Enjoy a picnic. On the last day of Nowruz it is custom to go outdoors and have picnics and parties as a way to avoid bad luck.
  • Attend a Chaharshanbe Soori Fire Festival: Several Canadian cities like Vancouver and Toronto host public and private Chaharshanbe Soori events where people can jump over fire, a traditional Nowruz event.
  • Read a book to learn more about Nowruz in Canada:
    Nowruz: Persian New Year's Table Celebrations: From Around the World, Including Sephardic - Nahid Soltani
    Celebrating Norouz (Persian New Year) - Yassaman Jalali

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