Nowruz Festival – Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity


Nowruz (which literally means new day in Persian) is the Iranian New Year also known as Persian New Year.It is celebrated worldwide by Iranians along with some other ethno linguistic groups as the beginning of New Year.

Although having Iranian and religious Zoroastrian origins,Nowruz has been celebrated by people from various diverse ethno linguistic communities. It has been celebrated for over 3000years in Western Asia, Central Asia ,Caucasus,Black Sea Basin and the Balkans. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants enjoyed by people of various faiths but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians.

Nowruz is the day of  vernal equinox and marks the beginning of spring in Northern Hemisphere. It marks the first day of the first month(Farvardin) in the Iranian calendar. It usually occurs on Mar 21 ,a day prior or later depending on where it is celebrated. The moment sun crosses the celestial equator and equalises night and day,which is calculated every year ,it is time for families to begin rituals.

A Vivid description of Nowruz celebrations in the Courts of Kings of Iran is found in Nowruznama(Book of  New Year) attributed to Omar Khayyam a well Known Persian Poet and mathematician.

Before the collapse of Soviet Union , Iran was the only country which officially  observed the ceremonies of Nowruz. When the Caucasian and Central Asian countries gained independence from Soviets they also declared Nowruz as National Holiday.

The United Nations  recognised the International Day of Nowruz in 2010 descibing it as a spring festival of Iranian origin. Nowruz is officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Iran issued a postage stamp during the First International Nowruz celebrations in Tehran on 27 Mar 2010.

Some Dishes associated with Nowruz are

Chicken Farcha – Boneless chicken, marinated in a pool of spices and deep fried with a coating of egg and chilli – chicken farcha is basically a Parsi-style chicken pakoda

Parsi Mutton Cutlet: Probably the most popular snack in Parsi cuisine, mutton cutlet is prepared by mixing minced mutton, boiled potatoes and a myriad of spices.

Sali Boti: A traditional Parsi-style meat curry, with prominent flavours of jaggery, onions and tomatoes- Sali Boti spells indulgence. 

Patra Ni Machi: For the ones who want to add some fish in the menu, here we bring the classic recipe of patra ni machi. It is basically steamed/baked fish that is marinated with coconut, lime juice and mild spices, and wrapped in fresh banana leaves

Uzbekistan issued a Miniature Sheet in 2020 on Navroz