Nowruz Holiday: Beginning of New Life

Nowruz is one of the most ancient holidays on Earth, symbolizing the beginning of a new life. The official status of Nowruz was acquired by the Achaemenids in the Persian Empire (6th-4th centuries BC). TheNowruz holiday was included in UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in September 2009, and in February 2010 the UN General Assembly declared March 21 the International day of Nowruz. 

Although the celebration of Nowruz is common among Muslims, it is not a religious, but a national holiday, which is associated with spring, the beginning of agricultural work, the awakening of nature, and the onset of warm days. It is also associated with the cult of the Sun and the ancient Persian prophet Zarathushtra. The sacred book of the Zoroastrians Avesta is the oldest source, where the celebration of Nowruz is mentioned. According to the teachings of Avesta, every spring, people should celebrate the emergence of life on earth, which was born "in six kinds": sky, water, earth, plants, animals, and people. That day God chose Zarathushta to bring happiness to people.

The importance of this period of the year gave rise to many traditions and customs. People begin preparing for Nowruz a month in advance - Tuesdays are especially important. Each of the four Tuesdays has its name in accordance with the natural elements (water, fire, earth, and wind). As soon as they awaken, the fifth and the main element opens: a new bright day - Nowruz, a complete revival of the earth. Moreover, they say that in the times of Nowruz, angels bring abundance and prosperity to those who have pure thoughts and clean houses. Therefore, people thoroughly clean their houses. 

On 21st of March, relatives gather together and share the holiday dinner. They cook many tasty dishes, the most popular among them are polov with dried fruits and sumalak - a wheat cream. Besides, guests on that day are offered to try a dish with sprouted grains. This ritual symbolizes reconnection with the nature and life in general. 

In addition, children slam into the doors of their neighbors and sing songs dedicated to Nowruz, and the elders give them sweets for this. Also, young people arrange horseback riding games, which include Kyz kuumay (a competition for men who have to catch a running girl), Enish (wrestling on horseback) and Jamby Atuu (archery).

ULYSSE TOUR offers a unique tour, dedicated to Nowruz holiday. The route of the program goes through small mountain villages so that travelers get the full perception of authentic lifestyle and the holiday event.

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