Nawruz is a Dari/Persian word which means “new day” it is the first day of spring in solar system, falls on march 21.
Thousands of years ago, residents of Ariana (Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan) have celebrated the first day of the year and beginning of spring with joy and special celebration. Celebrating of this day was a good omen for the year ahead.
There are different views about the root of this day. According to some sources this tradition was practiced during the time of Zoroastrians in Aryana. Therefore, some people are against celebrating this day and call it none Islamic tradition.
As some ignorant people have added a number of weird traditions to Nawruz, this also made others believe that celebrating of Nawruz is none Islamic, haram and bidah.
Although I think if a person intends to start his new year with remembering God and spending time with family, friends and relatives, exchanging gifts, as well as avoiding celebrating this day by immoral and none Islamic activities (by getting drunk and doing haram…) I think and I hope it would not be against Islam and Islamic traditions. wa Allahu aalam.
In Iran it is called Eid Nowroz, however for most Afghans in Afghanistan, it is only a pleasant and happy beginner for New Year. For them Nawruz is the sign for the new season (spring), and they celebrate it because the snow and winter will end and the weather will start to warm up. Besides, it is festivity moment for farmers, when they present their production in public gatherings in towns, soon after which they begin planting and cultivating farms with lots of hope and enthusiasm….
How Does Afghans Celebrate Nawruz?
Nawruz celebration in many parts of Afghanistan is held with certain glorious , in Mazar sharif, a big celebration called “mela i gul surkh” is held in a shrine attributed to hazrat Ali (ra). Every year thousands of people from different part of Afghanistan as well as foreign countries , Iran Tajikistan , and other Central Asian countries take part in this festival. In Kabul Nawruz festival is held in the places called Khwaja Safa, Shah Shaheed, Damani Sakhi, Kariz Mir etc. In Hirat City people celebrate this day with with great enthusiasm.
Some Afghan Traditions in Nawruz
Haft Mewa(seven fruits)
Haft mewa (prepared from 7 fruits known in afghanistan).
According to histrical narrataion,an Uzbek amir of Mavralnhr, amir Abdullah, in 1050 AH has transferred a big pot from samarkand to balkh in which 7 fruit (haft mewa) was made and distrebuted to the people.
As people now too prepare 7 fruit, as they put the fruits in water for almost 2 days and serve the guests in on Nawruz day.
Haft seen/ 7 S’s
Some Afghans prepare 7 foods that start with seen”s” such as salad, seeb(apple) etc, on the night of Nowroz and enjoy eating them with their families.
Fish and Jalabi
Jalabi as breakfast and fish as lunch or super is another special meal of Nawruz for Afghans. And mostly those who are engaged, boy’s family prepares fish, jalabi cookies and some dry fruits and sends it to girl’s family, which is called Nawruzi.
During the various ceremonies and celebrations, buzkashi tounament is also played in first days of spring including Nowroz. This tournament is usually performed in northern provinces of Afghanistan and Kabul city.
It is a sweet paste made from germinated wheat and flour, which is cooked in a large pot. Mostly women get together and take a party to cook samanak. They start cooking it from late in the evening till the daylight and sing the famous song of samanak” samanak dar josh ma kafcha zanim … degaran dar khwab ma……”
I wish all a happy Nawruz, and hope for a better moments in year ahead….Specially to my war torn countrymen……..my message to them, wherever they are:
It is a new year!
Its like a new Sunrise… of Hope, of Prosperity, of Happiness
Its like a new Beginning… of Thoughts, of Words, or Actions
Its like a new Day… of Energy, of Strength, of Ideas
Its like a bunch of whole new things… of Prayers, of Friends, and of Peace.