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Nowruz - Discover Persian culture

March 20, 2022
Authors: Saeideh Rajabzadeh, Kira McKesey, Samantha Wheadon, Hanna Yacob

Hello and welcome to Nowruz - Discover Persian culture online exhibit! Check out the message below from our Equity and Inclusion Leader, Saeideh Rajabzadeh.


Nowruz & Year 1401

Nowruz means new day and it marks the beginning of spring, which usually falls on March 20th of the Gregorian calendar. Some of the traditions surrounding Nowruz have been celebrated for over 3000 years, which could be traced back to ancient Persia and Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrians believed spring is a force to win over darkness! Although different Persian communities and families have their own unique traditions, throughout this exhibit, we will touch on some of the more common rituals.

This year marked the beginning of the year 1401 for Persian communities! You may ask yourself, why 1401?! Over the last two millennia, a series of Iranian calendars have been invented and modified, but the current calendar used by Persian communities includes names of months based on the Zoroastrian calendar and the years based on the solar Hijri calendar. The Solar Hijri calendar is based on astronomical calculations and not pre-determined rules. In the solar Hijri calendar, year 1 marks the journey of the prophet Muhammad to Mecca and Madina.

Did you know that Persian New Year doesn't happen at midnight? Every year, the moment of the new year is determined by astronomical calculations which give you an accurate hour, minute, and seconds for when the new year is to happen!

Months in a Persian Calendar:

  1. Farvardin, 31 days (March-April)

  2. Ordibehesht, 31 days (April-May)

  3. Khordad, 31 days (May-June)

  4. Tir, 31 days (June-July)

  5. Mordad, 31 days (July-August)

  6. Shahrivar, 31 days (August-September)

  7. Mehr, 30 days (September-October)

  8. Aban, 30 days (October-November)

  9. Azar, 30 days (November-December)

  10. Dey, 30 days (December-January)

  11. Bahman, 30 days(January-February)

  12. Esfand, 29 days (February-March)

Further reading: ancient calendars in Iran, Zoroastrian calendar, solar Hijri calendar.

Wading Away Bad Luck with Pre-Nowruz Celebrations

Haft-seen: Deciphering Symbolism in Celebrations

Most Unique Handicrafts of Persia

Persian Music, Music Icons, and Traditional Instruments


Poetry and Calligraphy

Persian food recipes


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