Ovi -
we cover every issue
newsletterNewsletter
subscribeSubscribe
contactContact
searchSearch
worldwide creative inspiration  
Ovi Bookshop - Free Ebook
Stop human trafficking
Ovi Language
Murray Hunter: Essential Oils: Art, Agriculture, Science, Industry and Entrepreneurship
Stop violence against women
Tony Zuvela - Cartoons, Illustrations
Stop human trafficking
 
BBC News :   - 
iBite :   - 
GermanGreekEnglishSpanishFinnishFrenchItalianPortugueseSwedish
21 March: Navroz: The Recurrent Renewal 21 March: Navroz: The Recurrent Renewal
by Rene Wadlow
2018-03-21 08:35:16
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author
DeliciousRedditFacebookDigg! StumbleUpon

May the soul flourish;
May youth be as the new-grown grain

Navroz, usually celebrated on 21 March in Iran and Central Asia, is the “New Day”, the end of the old year with its hardships and deceptions and the start of the New Year to be filled with hope and optimism. With each periodical festival, the participants find the same sacred time - the same that had been manifested in the festival of the previous year or the festival of a century earlier. It is a day for spiritual renewal and physical rejuvenation and is usually a time for reciting devotional poetry, presenting food with symbolic meaning to guests, and visits among family and close friends.

nav01_400Navroz, which coincides with the Spring Equinox, is related to myths focused on the sun and thus symbolizes the connections of humans to Nature.  In some of the myths, Navroz is considered as symbolizing the first day of creation  − thus a time when all can be newly created. It is a day between times − old time has died; new time will start the day after Navroz.  In this one-day period without time, all is possible.  The seeds are planted for a new birth.  Among some who celebrate Navroz, real seeds are planted, usually in seven pots with symbolic meanings of virtues.  Their growth is an indication of how these virtues will manifest themselves in the coming year.  Among those influenced by Islam and Christianity, Navroz is the day when God will raise the dead for the final judgment and the start of eternal life.

Navroz has an ancient Persian origin, related to Abura Mazda, the high god who was symbolized by the sun and manifested by fire. Navroz is also related to the opposite of fire, that is, water.  However water can also be considered not as opposite but as complementary, and thus fire-water can become symbols of harmony.  Fire – as light, as an agent of purification, as a manifestation of the basic energy of life − played a large role in Zoroastrian thought and in the teachings of Zarathoustra.  Thus we find fire as a central symbol and incorporated into rituals among the Parsis in India, originally of Iranian origin.

From what is today Iran, Zoroastrian beliefs and ritual spread along the “Silk Road” through Central Asia to China, and in the other direction to the Arab world.  As much of this area later came under the influence of Islam, elements of Navroz were given Islamic meanings to the extent that some today consider Navroz an “Islamic holiday”. Navroz is also celebrated among the Alawits in Syria, the Baha'i, the Yezidis, and the Kurds, each group  adapting Navroz to its spiritual framework.

In Turkey, for many years, Navroz was officially banned as being too related to the Kurds and thus to Kurdish demands for autonomy or an independent Kurdistan. I recall a number of years ago being invited to participate in a non-violent Kurdish protest in Turkey on Navroz to protest the ban. I declined as the idea of going from Geneva to be put in a Turkish jail was not on top of my list of priorities.  Fortunately, for the last few years, the ban has been lifted, and Kurds in Turkey can now celebrate openly Navroz although we will have to watch closely as the Kurds in Turkey are under pressure.

The celebration of Navroz in the Cental Asian Republics has had an uneven history during the Soviet period and since − ranging from a ban because it was too Islamic, to being promoted as of Zoroastrian origin and thus anti-Islamic, to being “nationalized” as a holiday of national unity.

As armed conflicts in Syria, Iraq, “Kurdistan” and Afghanistan and strong tensions in Iran and Central Asia continue, we must hope that 2018 Navroz will purify the old and plant the seeds of a new harmonious regional society.

********************************

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

 

           


   
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author

Comments(0)
Get it off your chest
Name:
Comment:
 (comments policy)

© Copyright CHAMELEON PROJECT Tmi 2005-2008  -  Sitemap  -  Add to favourites  -  Link to Ovi
Privacy Policy  -  Contact  -  RSS Feeds  -  Search  -  Submissions  -  Subscribe  -  About Ovi