Nevruz is a celebration of Persian decent. 'Nev ruz' in Persian translates to 'new day'. On March 21 in the northern hemisphere the sun moves into Aries and the Earth begins to awaken from the coldest few months. As Spring beckons the warmth and new life, the people celebrate the beginning of another year.
This day is celebrated in many different ways throughout different communities and religions across the Middle East and Asia. Persian mythology suggests God created the sun, the earth and man on this day which led to many rulers depicting it the perfect day for festivities to celebrate their ascending of the throne.
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In religious regions some depict it as the day in which Ali was born and then married. Others believe Adam was also created on this day and Noah's Ark found land on this day. In agriculture based communities it became a celebration of abundance and prosperity as new life begins to sprout.
Ottoman sultans of Anatolia (now Turkey) were fond of this day and were presented with nature based poems, spicy pastes and the new calendar for the year to come from top astrologers. Some ancient traditions have filtered down the family lines and are still active in the communities today. Some of these are the sprinkling of water through houses from local streams, the creating of spice pastes, visiting graves of loved ones, having bonfires, communal meals and making wishes.
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Modern day Nevruz celebrations in Turkey are a symbol of independence and good fortune for the year to come. Beautiful meals are cooked and shared with the family or local community as a symbol of peace and solidarity. New clothes are bought and worn as a symbol of good fortune and abundance to picnics and festivities. Children sing and dance and their is a tradition for painting hard boiled eggs with intricate designs. You will find freshly sprouted grains on tables as a sign of new beginnings and fertility often surrounded by last years dried nuts and fruits.