Kurdish Newroz

newroz kurdistan

Kurds in Turkey Celebrate Newroz

Kurds celebrate Newroz (alternatively pronounced Nowruz in Iran, as phonetic spelling varies) as their New Year’s Day on March 21st, the first day of Spring. Newroz originated in Persia in the religious tradition of Zoroastrianism, and is celebrated by the cultural regions that came under Iranian influence or had Persian immigrants. [1]

Kurdish New Year’s

Newroz is the Kurdish celebration of the Persian new year holiday “Nowruz.” Kurdish Newroz coincides with the Spring Equinox, and is a festival celebrating the beginning of spring. Over the years, Newroz has come to represent new beginnings, as well as an opportunity to support the Kurdish cause. For these reasons, Newroz is considered to be the most important festival in Kurdish culture. Typically the festival is celebrated in the days running up to the Spring Equinox, and this year will be celebrated from March 21th to April 1st.

During Newroz, there are special foods, fireworks, dancing, singing, and poetry recitations. Spring flowers (such as tulips, hyacinths, and pussy willows) are cut, new clothes are worn, and pottery is smashed for good luck. Families spend the day in the country, enjoying nature and the fresh growth of spring.

The celebration of Newroz has its local peculiarities in different regions of Kurdistan. On the eve of Newroz, in southern and eastern Kurdistan, bonfires are lit. These fires symbolize the passing of the dark season, winter, and the arrival of spring, the season of light. During the thirteen days after Newroz, families visit each other and visit the graves of dead relatives. Everyone tries to resolve any conflicts or misunderstandings that may be carried from the year before.

Even though most Kurds are longer nomads, they continue to celebrate important dates associated with that way of life. These include lambing time, celebration before moving the herds to summer pastures, shearing time, and the time of return to the village in the fall. Islamic holidays vary in importance among individual Kurds.[2]

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