Question: Could somebody please let me the dates for this year's Nowruz celebrations in Iran. I am enquiring from the point of view of possible trying to travel during this time, so would just like to know the dates affected.
Answer: Nowruz is the beginning of the year for the people of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Tajikistan and a few of the Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. The Kurds in Georgia, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey celebrate Nowruz as the New Year festival. Nowruz begins simultaneously with the beginning of spring on the vernal equinox, on the 1st day of Farvardin of the Islamic solar calendar typically on March 20th or 21st. The holidays start from 19 Mar, increasing by the weekend holiday as well as another public holiday. Families gather at haftseen decorated with special traditional foods and items to symbolize the beliefs and values. All of them begin with the sound of the letter "S" — Seeb - apple; Sabzeh - green grass- wheat or lentil sprouts; Serkeh - vinager; Samanoo - a paste made out of wheat; Senjed - a berry native to the region; Sekkeh - a coin; and Seer - garlic. Most haftseen tables also include a small fishbowl with goldfish and a mirror as well. It is a time of great joy and family celebrations that are shared by people of all faiths in countries that trace history back to the ancient Mesopotamian civilization and the Persian Empire. The sixth day of the festivities is Zarathustra’s birthday and special celebrations are held to mark the occasion. In "Sizdah Bedar" which is the13th day of the New Year, the parks are filled with families bringing luck by spending the day out of doors. Young girls tie grass on this day to wish for a good husband.