Friday, March 7, 2014

Nowruz 2014 : A Persian New Year Celebration | Washington DC

International Day of Nowruz | March 8th | Freer, Sackler, and Ripley Center

Nowruz begins precisely at the vernal equinox, on the 1st day of Farvardin of the Islamic solar calendar, usually on March 20th or 21st. It is a time of great joy and family celebrations that are shared by people of all faiths in many countries that trace their history back through the centuries to the ancient Mesopotamian civilization and the Persian Empire.

Haji Firuz, sing in the streets to announce the festivities and house cleaning is a part of the preparations. On the Wednesday before Nowruz bonfires are lit to jump over and children gather coins and treats as they visit neighbors.

Nowruz is the beginning of the year for the people of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Tajikistan and a few of the Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. It is also celebrated as the new year by people descended from Persian and Iranian ancestors. The Kurds in Georgia, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey celebrate Nowruz as the new year festival. Many communities where people from these countries have settled also join in the celebrations.

Dance, play, and feast your way into the Persian New Year at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. The museums' sixth annual Nowruz celebration features free attractions for all ages, including:

Haft Sin table displays
"Fire" jumping
Storytelling by Xanthe Gresham
Face painting
Coloring, collage, and calligraphy
Iranian music concert
Cartoons from Iran
Persepolis photo studio
Backgammon and chess
Nomad Dancers performance
Traditional Persian food
Docent-led spotlight tours
Made possible by a generous grant from Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar.

For the full schedule of events click the link below: