What we can learn in 2024 from 3,500-year-old Nowruz?

The principles of this age-old celebration, which include taking a yearly inventory and reestablishing a connection with nature during a vulnerable period, are not becoming less significant. With roots in the erstwhile Persian Empire, millions of people worldwide are celebrating Nowruz, an annual 13-day event that heralds the arrival of spring.

Once spanning from egypt and the Balkan Peninsula in the west to afghanistan and pakistan in the east, Persia—anchored in modern-day Iran—left behind an enduring cultural legacy that includes this colorful celebration. Despite the fact that Nowruz is 3,500 years old, its adherents think that its teachings—such as making an annual reset, appreciating family, and spending time in nature during a vulnerable period—are more relevant than ever.

Originally a Zoroastrian holiday, Nowruz was observed by followers of the ancient monotheistic religion that was established by the prophet Zoroaster in 500 BCE. The rulers of all the subject nations were called to present presents and pay respects to the monarch at Persepolis, whose ruins are still visible in the Iranian city of Shiraz, during the Persian Empire's reign (c. 559–331) on the occasion of Nowruz. The monarchs were able to demonstrate to their forefathers that they were doing well, which is still a significant part of the celebration.

For centuries, Zoroastrianism served as the recognized state religion of the Persian Empire. However, it was eventually replaced by islam following the Arab conquest in approximately 632 CE. However, Nowruz was firmly established and continued to exist even during the Islamic era. Over time, it changed into a secular holiday that was observed by people of all faiths, including Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Today, groups of people living in North America, Europe, and other parts of the world celebrate Nowruz, including diaspora populations in these regions as well as Iran, afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, pakistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and other formerly Persian-influenced nations.

At the exact moment of the spring equinox, when the sun crosses the equator on its way north, Nowruz, which means "new day" in Persian, begins. This year, it begins in Tehran at 06:36 on march 20, in london at 03:06, and in New York at 23:06 on march 19. 

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