Norooz, which occurs at the Spring Equinox, marks a New Year for many people around the world. It is a time of celebration and renewal. In this week's post we take a look at rituals and traditions for celebrating spring.
Picture the Earth’s equator, a circle all around the Earth. Now imagine that circle projected outward into the imaginary celestial sphere, into outer space. That’s the celestial equator, and it’s infinitely distant.
Three thousand years ago, in ancient Iran, the Zoroastrians recognized the movement of the Sun as it crossed the celestial equator and moved up into the Northern hemisphere. They knew that this meant the coming of a new season, in which the warmth of the sun would awaken new possibilities.
This moment, called Norooz in Farsi, and which astronomers in the Northern hemisphere call the Vernal or Spring Equinox, marks the New Year on the Solar calendar.
Norooz is a compound word in which no means “new,” and rooz means “day.” Norooz is celebrated all over the world, with origins in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Iraq. As the start of Spring, it is a symbolic new beginning for so many of us, and it is in perfect harmony with nature.
As those of us who live up here in the Northern hemisphere know all too well, the arrival of Spring is a moment of relief. It is renewal. Our gratitude for the warmth radiates from our hearts. Our longing to step out into fresh air without piles of winter clothes on is finally met with gentle rays of sunlight beaming warmly back at us.
For many of us, it’s a time to look back, too. I look to the Winters that have gone by, and find that dormant seeds within me were given Winter’s gift of time; time to be cozy and safe, time to ponder and wonder and gather in the magical peacefulness of the cold, time to strengthen hope and faith in a new day.
I recently learned that the no in Norooz, along with meaning “new,” can also mean “now.” Every moment is now and new. And maybe above all else, that’s what the arrival of Spring means to me: It is nature reminding us that new possibilities are available to us every moment, that we can awaken from dormancy into consciousness. So with that, all of us at Tall Earth wish you and your family a very happy first week of Spring, or as it’s said in Farsi, Norooz Mobarak!