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04/26/2019

Nowruz Celebration in the Former Central Kurram District

In many regions of the world, New Year’s takes place on January 1st. However, there are various different New Year`s all around the world that are celebrated on different days in different ways. The Chinese Lunar New Year is a well-known New Year`s celebration, but there are many more New Year`s celebrated by different cultures, countries, and religions.


  Nowruz, also known as Persian New Year`s, is celebrated in different countries around the world. Although it originates in Iran, Nowruz has been celebrated in many communities. For people following some religions, this is a fun holiday, but for the Shi`a Muslims, it represents a holy day.


  Nowruz marks the start of spring, and the first day of the first month on the Iranian calendar. Family members come together and perform certain rituals. On the Gregorian calendar, it typically takes place on March 21st, or a day before or after that. This year, Nowruz was celebrated on the 21st of March, 2019.


  The main events of Nowruz are cleaning the house and shopping, and also visiting friends and family. Of the events, some unique ones include “Haft Seen”, “Haft Mewa (7 different types of nuts and dried fruits soaked in syrup)”, “Khoncha (traditional displaying method of seven dishes, placing wheat and barley dishes in the middle)”, “Amu Nowruz and Haji Firuz (figure wearing bright red clothing and a hat, comes with Amu Nowruz and sings traditional songs while playing the tambourine)”, and “Kampirak (old man figure with a long beard, representing nature and grace, and conducts charity at various villages during the celebration)”. Some of them will be mentioned in this blog post.


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“Haft Seen” is a very interesting custom, and represents the seven food items that start with the Persian letter “س” (S letter in English). This includes wheat, barley, samanu (a type of sweet pudding), apples, garlic, vinegar, gummy fruit, and spices from sumac plant fruit. Seven of these items are placed on the table and the family members sit around the table.


In Iran, the traditional emissaries for the celebration are “Amu Nowruz and Haji Firuz” and they appear in the streets to celebrate the new year.


“Amu Nowruz”delivers presents to children, similar to what Santa Claus does on Christmas. He is the husband of Nane Sarma, and they are only able to meet once a year, so the love story says.


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This year`s Nowruz celebration took place in the Parachinar region. The Shi`a community of the Parachinar and Ali Zai regions celebrated Nowruz in the evening of March 21st, 2019. In the morning, most famous mosques put out a massive flag. Over a few thousand people celebrated Nowruz with religious virtue. The people of Parachinar visited various mosques and also family and friends as part of the celebration. Additionally, children purchase new clothing to celebrate this day. At home, various dishes are prepared and are offered to family and friends. Musicians perform songs to excite the people of the community for this special occasion.


  The local JEN staff members had a chance to eat several dishes offered at the nearest imambargah (holy place for Shi`a Muslims). Overall, the city was filled with happiness and festiveness during the entirety of Nowruz. The celebration lasted between 15 to 20 days.


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April 26, 2019 in Pakistan |