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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Iran Series at PersianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Iranian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 1, New Year’s Day. In Persian, it’s called Nowrooz.
In Iran, the New Year traditionally begins on the first day of spring, typically sometime around March 20. Iranians start their New Year as the earth awakens from its winter hibernation and plants spring forth from the ground, which is why the New Year is called Nowrooz, meaning “new day” in Persian.
In this lesson, you will learn about how during Nowrooz, members of Iranian families gather around the Sofre-ye Haft-Seen, literally meaning the seven 'S's table, to wish each other a happy New Year, eat dinner, and relax together.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What is commonly eaten on the first day of the New Year in Iran?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Nowrooz activities actually begin several days before the Eid. One of these activities is spring cleaning. In each household, family members clean, wash, and tidy up their living spaces in preparation for the Eid, which means feast. These activities are called Khaane Tekaani, which literally means the shaking out or removing of dust from the house. After this is finished, the family members put on their new, clean clothes and wait for the New Year to come.
When Iranians hear the word Nowrooz, they often think of Sofre-ye Haft-Seen, which refers to a series of objects and foods that are set on the table or onto a piece of cloth, the names of which all begin with the sound ‘s’ in Persian.These objects represent concepts such as goodness and blessings. Among them, there is usually Senjed, which is dried oleaster wild olive fruit, Sib or apple, Sabzeh or sprouts from green plants, Samanoo or sweet pudding, Sir or garlic, Serkeh or vinegar, Somaq or sumac, and Sekke, which is a coin. A mirror, a candle, a goldfish, colored eggs, and a collection of Hafez poems are also oftentimes included. Family members gather around the display to congratulate each other on the Eid, and older members give younger ones money as a New Year’s gift.
One of the most important traditions that still remains intact from ancient times is eid didani. On eid didani, people visit relatives, friends, and acquaintances, and the host receives their guests by giving them candies, dried nuts, and fruits. Making trips out to various towns and spending time outdoors are popular activities among Iranians on Nowrooz. This way, people prepare themselves for a year full of work, activity, jubilation, and success. The older members of the family present the Eidi or New Year’s gift, which in most cases is cash in brand new bills, to the younger members.
Did you know that Iranians also celebrate a character similar to Santa Claus during Nowrooz called Amoo Nowrooz, or Uncle Nowrooz? Like his western counterpart, Uncle Nowrooz is a kind old man with a white beard who announces the coming New Year to the people. There is another character related to the New Year named Haji Firooz. With a black face and red clothes, he dances, sings, beats a drum, and performs comical routines to amuse onlookers in the streets.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What is commonly eaten on the first day of the New Year in Iran?
The first food eaten in the New Year is usually Sabzi Polo baa Maahi, a dish comprised of rice, fish, chopped vegetables, spices, salt, and oil. The components of this dish represent the productivity of nature, the bounty of rice, and the active movements of fish. Eating this food on Nowrooz symbolizes an appreciation for the bounties provided by God in the New Year.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How is the New Year celebrated in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at PersianPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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PersianPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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How is the New Year celebrated in your country?

 

PersianPod101.com
Saturday at 12:44 pm
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Hello Kostantina


Thank you for your complement :smile::heart::thumbsup:

We are happy that you liked our lesson.


Cheers,

Mohammad,

Team PersianPod101.com

Kostantina
Tuesday at 10:41 am
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Really enjoyed this lesson