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Ancient Persian's New Year was Celebrated on Sunday

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(Credit: Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images) A Haft-Sin table furnished with the traditional seven symbolic items, each beginning with the Persian letter S (Sin), Tehran, Iran, 21st March 2002. Haft-Sin is a tradition associated with Iranian new year (Nowruz) celebrations. Haft-Sin Table
March 21
8:18 AM 2016

Nowruz is a new year's day in the Zoroastrian tradition. Persians and Kurds alike are celebrating the new year on Sunday as the spring vernal equinox last Sunday.

On the Nowruz day, the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day. In 2016, that hour came to pass on Sunday morning on the Eastern Standard Time. The day marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, which usually begin in the middle of March. During the day, Persian families gather together and performing rituals to celebrate the new year.

Nowruz literally means "new day" and in Persian calendar, the day marks the first day of the year in the new month. Persians have been celebrating the Nowruz long since 3,000 years ago in Caucasus, West Asia, Central Asia, and parts of South Asia which had been part or Persian empire.

Forbes columnist Bijan Khosravi congratulated Persian entrepreneurs in his column, "Happy Nowruz! As we ring in this New Year, I want to take a moment to congratulate the Iranian entrepreneurs, startups and organizations that are creating values."

He also mentioned Iranian-American tech entrepreneur, Hadi Partovi, founder of the education non-profit Code.org, that help people to learn to build software. Also startup incubator such as iBRIDGES which help Persian tech entrepreneur by creating high-tech entrepreneurial ecosystem and opportunities to work on a global level.

Traditionally, every Persian home during Nowruz celebration prepare a haftseen table which will be decorated with seven items, considered a lucky number. Each item symbolizes spring and renewal. Those items are apple, garlic, vinegar, hyacinth plan sweet pudding, sprouts and coins which symbolize beauty, good health, patience, spring, fertility, rebirth and prosperity.

Nowruz is also often also symbolized by painted egg which reprenting fertility, living goldfish is bowl which representing life. Some also add a set of quran, book of poetry, mirror and candle which representing hope for the future.

According to an expert on ancient Persia, Ahmad Sadri, who is a professor of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College, haftseen table is relatively a new addition to Nowruz tradition. He told KPBS, "We do not even find this spread mentioned in the chronicles of travelers to Iran up to the modern times."

In the Encyclopedia Iranica, Columbia University mentioned that haftseen seems to have come into vogue only in the last century. That addition happened due to the publicity in the media. It is likely the haftseen was mimicking Seder Pesach table in the Jewish celebration of Passover.

Last Sunday, all Persians celebrated the new year which marks the beginning of spring in Northern Hemisphere. The celebration which dated back since Zoroastrian tradition has now a new twist with haftseen table and items presented in the table.

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