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Novruz In Iran - A Personal Reflection



It's been 23 long years since I last experienced Novruz in Tehran - a unique  experience indeed, and the memory is still fresh, as if it happened only  yesterday.

During Novruz, nature truly rejoices. A sense of feeling new again, the  freshness of green colors of the new leaves, the smell of clean air all around, the smiles on faces of people, the joys in children's eyes, the blooming of flowers, the chirping of the birds, the brightness but not harshness of the mid-day sun. It's like everything around is inviting you to be jubilant and make a new beginning. The display of gold fish and gold coins all round the market place, the colorful light bulbs in shops and in streets, the aroma of freshly baked and decorated cookies, the shiny shoes and colorful clothes, the enchanting music, dancing, and vibrant energy of people around the country. The well-balanced gunny bags full of dry-fruits and artfully displayed confectioneries are a gourmet's delight. The abundance of colorful fruits and the water sprinkled vegetables on street corners, the odor of white fish, and fragrance of rose water is everywhere in the air.

Looking at the majesty of snow covered Alborz Mountains to the North; one feels humble by its dominance each day and especially on Novruz. The visits to Atash Kadeh in the heart of the city and in suburban Tehran Pars, with the backdrop of Mount Damavand in the distant skyline, give tranquility and inner peace. The schools, businesses, and government offices are closed - the nation shuts down to the outside world, as if an internal resurrection is taking place. People on the streets greet each other with warmth, affection, and, friendship.  Millions of Iranians take to the roads, visiting families, friends, and neighbors in near and distant places, picnicking along the way at green spots and cool streams, eating, singing, laughing, dancing, playing games, and enjoying for 13 straight days, till the Sizdeh-Bedar brings it all to an end.

One has to be physically present in the motherland, to truly witness it, experience it, enjoy it, feel it, and be a part of Novruz itself. One feels cleaner than taking a thousand showers, closest to nature and therefore to Ahura Mazda. It is a time to rejoice in a unique bonding of man and nature, with an abundant feeling of happiness and joy, more than any other period in time, in a land where it all began. 

Novruz to every Zarathushti is a reminder of the rich ancestral past, and a personal reflection of present and future aspirations. New resolutions are made and old ones fulfilled and the cycle continues every year with Novruz as a witness and a guardian. The cornerstones of the Zarathushti Din of using Vohu Mana, practicing Asha, and leading a righteous life, begins and is renewed with each Novruz.