• October 11Contact: [email protected]

Middle Eastern NEW YEAR “ NEWROZ” Celebration is filled with color, beauty and tradition

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Kurdish New Year’s

Picture of Overton graduate Bel Doski. (Photo Rights reserved Rasti Doski)

Newroz is the Kurdish celebration of the Persian new year holiday “Nowruz.” Kurdish Newroz coincides with the Spring Equinox, and is a festival celebrating the beginning of spring. Over the years, Newroz has come to represent new beginnings, as well as an opportunity to support the Kurdish cause.

For these reasons, Newroz is considered to be the most important festival in Kurdish culture. Typically the festival is celebrated in the days running up to the Spring Equinox, and this year will be celebrated from March 21th to April 1st.

As an important festival in Kurdish culture it is a time for entertainment such as games, dancing, family gathering, preparation of special foods and the reading of poetry. Kurds along with many other middle easterners such as Iranians, Arabs, Turks came together for a joyous celebration of their new year.

Children specially love Nowruz. They do not need to work, go to school, or be restricted in play; they wear new clothes, receive gifts, and play various games, particularly the “egg-cracking” and tipcat (similar to baseball and played with wooden sticks, see ALAK-DOLAK).

Beautiful banner of Newroz event held in park. (Photo Rights reserved Rasti Doski)

Like for many, the season of Spring is symbolic of newness. Newroz, which translates into “New day,” symbolizes a fresh new start to the year landing on the first day of spring. Newroz is traditionally celebrated around the spring equinox, March 21st.

Newroz shares its roots with the Persian holiday of the same name; however, Kurds have their own unique take on the holiday. It is a day of recognizing Kurdish struggles and triumphs against past oppressors.

In Kurdish legend, the holiday celebrates the freedom of the Kurds from a tyrant, and it is seen as another way of demonstrating support for the Kurdish cause.  On the eve of Newroz, in southern and eastern Kurdistan, bonfires are lit. These fires symbolize the passing of the dark season, winter, and the arrival of spring, the season of light. Therefore, bonfires are an important part of any Newroz celebration.

Nashville’s Newroz is considered to be a popular one. People from all states come down to witness and celebrate. All are welcome. You occasionally see Americans visiting and Kurds teaching them dances and feeding them traditional dishes.

So many attend that a normal camera isn’t enough to capture it, there is a camera drone flying around in the air during the celebration.

During the thirteen days after Newroz, families visit each other and visit the graves of dead relatives. Everyone tries to resolve any conflicts or misunderstandings that may be carried from the year before.

“It’s a beautiful sight to see, you’re dancing in this huge circle together as one”

“ Newroz beautifully showcases all the middle eastern cultures coming together to rejoice”

“ The clothing is so interesting, one more unique than the next, and the food… you’ve gotta try the food!”

All Kurds celebrate Nowruz with enthusiasm, even in lands where their traditions do not meet with official sanction. Great quantities of sweets and fruits are consumed, and women ceremoniously cook samani.

Everywhere elaborate bonfires are kindled and fireworks (on hill tops and roofs, in streets and the countryside) are accompanied by music, dancing, singing, and picnicking. In some areas the setting up of the “Nowruzian king” is still practiced (Mokri; Minorski, pp. 102-03; Keyvān, pp. 59-140; Bois, p. 477).

Newroz Music 

Newroz has been mentioned in works of many Kurdish poets and writers as well as musicians.[33] One of the earliest records of Newroz in Kurdish literature is from Melayê Cizîrî (1570–1640):[34]

Without the light and the fire of Love,
Without the Designer and the power of Creator,
We are not able to reach Union.
(Light is for us and dark is the night)
This fire massing and washing the Heart,
My heart claim after it.
And here come Newroz and the New Year,
When a such light is rising.

The famous Kurdish writer and poet Piramerd (1867–1950) writes in his 1948 poem “Newroz”:[35]

The New Year’s day is today. Newroz is back.
An ancient Kurdish festival, with joy and verdure.
For many years, the flower of our hopes was downtrodden
The poppy of spring was the blood of the youth
It was that red colour on the high horizon of Kurd
Which was carrying the happy tidings of dawn to remote and near nations
It was Newroz which imbued the hearts with such a fire
That made the youth receive death with devoted love
Hooray! The sun is shining from the high mountains of homeland
It is the blood of our martyrs which the horizon reflects
It has never happened in the history of any nation
To have the breasts of girls as shields against bullets
Nay. It is not worth crying and mourning for the martyrs of homeland
They die not. They live on in the heart of the nation.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
The Student News Site of John Overton High School
Middle Eastern NEW YEAR “ NEWROZ” Celebration is filled with color, beauty and tradition