Nowruz: a celebration of new life, passarelli Muslims

Today, March 21st, many countries celebrate Nowruz — new year holiday according to astronomical solar calendar from Iranian and Turkic peoples. Although in many of these countries, the most common religion is Islam, this holiday is associated, primarily, with Zoroastrianism. Because of this, despite the popularity of Nowruz, some Muslims refer to it negatively.


Tajik girls on holiday Nowruz in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Nowruz in the Zoroastrian was considered one of the seven major holidays of the year. It coincided with the end of winter and was held in the night on the eve of the spring equinox, after which the days become longer than nights. The name of the Tajik-Persian language means “new day.” One of the traditional Navruz dishes are eggs, which is a symbol of the origin of life. Also an important symbol of the holiday was fire. Zoroastrians are sometimes called “fire-worshipers”, although the proponents of this religion have always considered this definition to be false and offensive.

However, some Muslims, especially seeking earnestly follow their religion, are of the opinion that the celebration of Navruz for a true follower of Islam is unacceptable.

In Iran, the rejection of Islam is still considered a serious crime and is punishable by death for one who changed his religion, and for the one who turned him. In addition, some distributed also in the later Zoroastrian ideas about the original unity of good and evil began in the past gave rise to some adherents of Christianity and Islam to accuse the followers of Zoroastrianism, the worship of dark forces. By the way, the Nowruz, in particular, symbolizes the arrival of spring as “the annual defeat of the evil spirit”.

Anyway, today Nowruz is an official holiday like in the Iran and many other countries. Celebrate it, including Azerbaijan, Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey, and in the last recent attempt to ban the holiday led to massive street riots. The exact date of the celebration of Nowruz in different countries differ, but in most cases it is celebrated on 21 March or the previous evening.

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