Home > Daily life, Iran > Happy New Year? Yes, indeed

Happy New Year? Yes, indeed

It is that time of the year again–the first day of spring. In Iran and other wholly or partly Persian-speaking neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, as well as other countries that have come under Persian influence or been part of its empire, that is the first day of the New Year which starts exactly on the vernal or spring equinox (look it up—something to do with the earth’s axis).

Given that the large and very gregarious and outgoing Iranian diaspora has deep roots in the community here, more and more Americans know about the Now Rouz celebration.
Many still don’t, however, which makes for some funny moments.

Imagine this situation, which has happened to me often enough, as an Iranian, of one of us going down a corridor in our place of work or entering a meeting room. American colleagues in the know greet us with a pleasant “Happy New Year” while others who overhear but have no idea what this means do a double take, looking puzzled.
“Happy New Year?” On March 20th?

Well yes, Happy 1391 or, as we say, eyde shoma mobarak.

  1. Narguesse McKellip Stevens
    March 20, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    This reminded me of the holidays in Iran forty years ago – everyone so jolly and happy, and full of the joys of spring. The beautiful “haf-seen” tables with their seven symbolic items carefully placed – the mirror, the hyacinth, the goldfish, the greenery, the coins, etc – everything starting with the letter S in Farsi. Very entertaining and instructive for a little American kid – and the feasting!


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