Celebrating Nowruz
Celebrating Nowruz

Lauren G. '19; Amanda Zamani, Nasrin Farahmand, and Bob Kundrat, Faculty Advisors

The Persian Student Association works to create an environment where a multicultural group of students of Persian allies engage in meaningful conversations and plan activities that bring awareness about their culture to Brentwood School community. At PSA meetings, ideas are discussed about the kinds of events they envision planning, to make a positive impact, while snacking on traditional Persian snacks like lavaashak and sweets.

Lauren G. '19 and her peers planned and executed a Persian ice cream sale. Ms. Farahmand and Mr. Kundrat created a game to inspire students about Nowruz (meaning new day, the Persian New Year), by testing their knowledge of all things Persian in a fun way during the Middle School Assembly, where the winner was awarded a complimentary lunch at the upcoming Nowruz festivities.

Each year the PSA hosts a luncheon celebrating Nowruz. At this luncheon an intricate Nowruz spread, "Haft Seen" is created and beautifully displayed by a parent volunteer. The Haft Seen features seven items symbolic of growth and rebirth, beauty and health, love, prosperity, sunrise, healing, age and patience! Parent volunteers provide popular dessert, flowers and serve lunch.

Nowruz is by far the most joyous and important celebration among the Iranians and their neighbors in Asia. The Spring Equinox marks the changing of the year and the regeneration of life and a new birth of the world, according to Iranian belief. This is indeed the basis of the Nowruz celebration, which has three millennia of tradition behind it. During Nowruz, Iranians from diverse religious, ethnic and linguistic background come together to greet the New Year in their homes and hope for a better year to come. Streets bustle with activity where one can see thousands of goldfish in bowls for the traditional Nowruz table, and the children anxiously await receiving gifts from their elders. Parents shop for new shoes and new clothes for their children to wear in line with the symbolic theme of renewal and renovation. Everyone waits eagerly for the exact moment when the earth passes the point of equinox and brings about the start of the New Year on or about March 21, to become rejuvenated and hopeful for a better year to come. The story of Nowruz or the Iranian New Year is wrapped in myths and legends which are beautifully told in the great Persian epic, the Shahnameh or Book of Kings.

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