s : Eiffel tower rugs.
(Persian New Year)
Norooz is the Iranian new year festival. The word itself literally means "new day" in Persian language and the festival marks
the beginning of the solar year as well as the new year on the Iranian and several other national calenders.
At its core, the Noroozfestival celebrates the awakening of the natural life. This awakening symbolizes the triumph of good, winning against the evil forces of darkness that are represented by the Winter.
Noroozis the point when the oppressive presence of the cold Winter finally begins to retrieve with the commencement of the lively and hopeful Spring. This symbolic and poetic change corresponds to the mathematical instance of the sun leaving the zodiac of Pisces and entering the zodiacal sign of Aries, also known as the Spring Equinox.
As described above, Noroozrepresents much of what Iranian/Persian character, history, politics and religion are all about. For centuries, Persians have applied the Noroozspirit to every dark challenge that has come their way. This spirit has made Noroozfar more than just a New year celebration!
In harmony with the rebirth of nature, the Iranian New Year Celebration, or NorooZ, always begins on the first day of spring. Norooz ceremonies are symbolic representations of two ancient concepts - the End and the Rebirth; or Good and Evil. A few weeks before the New Year, Iranians clean and rearrange their homes. They make new clothes, bake pastries and germinate seeds as sign of renewal. The ceremonial cloth is set up in each household. Troubadours, referred to as Haji Firuz, disguise themselves with makeup and wear brightly colored outfits of satin. These Haji Firuz, singing and dancing, parade as a carnival through the streets with tambourines, kettle drums, and trumpets to spread good cheer and the news of the coming new year.
Last Wednesday of the year(Chahar Shanbeh Suri) : On the eve of last Wednesday of the year, literally the eve of Red Wednesday or the eve of celebration, bonfires are lit in public places and people leap over the flames, shouting:
Give me your beautiful red color
And take back my sickly pallor!
With the help of fire and light symbols of good, we hope to see our way through this unlucky night - the end of the year- to the arrival of springs longer days. Traditionally, it is believed that the living were visited by the spirits of their ancestors on the last day of the year. Many people specially children, wrap themselves in shrouds symbolically reenacting the visits. By the light of the bonfire, they run through the streets banging on pots and pans with spoons called Gashog-Zani to beat out the last unlucky Wednesday of the year, while they knock on doors to ask for treats. Indeed, Halloween is a Celtic variation of this night.
In order to make wishes come true, it is customary to prepare special foods and distribute them on this night. Noodle Soup a filled Persian delight, and mixture of seven dried nuts and fruits, pistachios, roasted chic peas, almond, hazelnuts, figs, apricots, and raisins.
This is another ritual in which someone makes a wish and stands at the corner of an intersection , or on a terrace or behind a wall. That person will know his fortune when he overhears conversation of a passerby.
A few days prior to the New Year, a special cover is spread on to the Persian carpet or on a table in every Persian household. This ceremonial table is called cloth of seven dishes, (each one beginning with the Persian letter Sinn). The number seven has been sacred in Iran since the ancient times, and the seven dishes stand for the seven angelic heralds of life-rebirth, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, patience, and beauty.
The symbolic dishes consist of:
1. Sabzeh or sprouts, usually wheat or lentil representing rebirth.
2. Samanu is a pudding in which common wheat sprouts are transformed and given new life as a sweet, creamy pudding and represents the ultimate sophistication of Persian cooking.
3. Seeb means apple and represents health and beauty.
4. Senjed the sweet, dry fruit of the Lotus tree, represents love. It has been said that when lotus tree is in full bloom, its fragrance and its fruit make people fall in love and become oblivious to all else.
5. Seer which is garlic in Persian, represents medicine.
6. Somaq sumac berries, represent the color of sunrise; with the appearance of the sun Good conquers Evil.
7. Serkeh or vinegar, represents age and patience.
To reconfirm all hopes and wishes expressed by the traditional foods, other elements and symbols are also on the sofreh):
* a few coins placed on the sofreh represent prosperity and wealth;
* a basket of painted eggs represents fertility.
* a Seville orange floating in a bowl of water represents the earth floating in space.
* a goldfish in a bowl represents life and the end of astral year-picas.
* a flask of rose wat