Norouz: A Persian Tradition (Part I)
Since 23 February 2009, UNESCO has made Norouz an international day listed in the World Heritage Cultural Heritage List.
Since 23 February 2009, UNESCO has made Norouz an international day listed in the World Heritage Cultural Heritage List. On its website, Norouz is described in these terms: "The Novruz, or Norouz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz, Nevruz, marks the new year and the beginning of spring in a very extensive geographical area, including, among others, the Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. It is celebrated every March 21st, date calculated and fixed at the origin according to the astronomical studies. "
The word "Norouz" is composed of two morphemes: "Now" and "rouz" which mean "new" and "day". This is the name given to the biggest Iranian holiday. This feast coincides with the first day of spring (March 21-22), when the sun enters the sign of the ram, the first sign of the zodiac.
About the origins of this festival, the researchers have several opinions, which sometimes differ somewhat, but all find their origin in ancestral rites and traditions Persian. According to the mythical Iranian and Zoroastrian traditions, Norouz is the day that God created the universe.
It marks the rebirth. It is also the day of the creation of Gayumarth, the first mythical king in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh , who was later assimilated to Adam. According to Omar Khayyam in his work Norouz-nameh which means "Letter of the New Year", "the reason for the appearance of Norouz comes from the fact that the sun has two cycles: one of them is the one 365 days, a quarter after which he returns to zero degrees of the sign of the ram, the same day and the same minute he left it. " This is the reason why each year lasts 365 days.
According to the story of the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, a great Iranian poet of the tenth century, promoter of the Persian language and culture, Norouz corresponds to the day of the coronation of the mythical Persian king Jamshid: "He made a throne worthy of a king, and in it all the jewels were engraved, and at his command the Divsles lifted up and carried it from the earth to the vault of heaven, and the mighty king sat there like the sun shining in the midst of heaven. throne, astonished at his high fortune, they poured on him jewels, and gave to this day the name of new day / Noeurouz (sic): it was the day of the new year, the first of the month Farvardin. the body was resting from its work, the heart was forgetting its hatreds, and the great ones, in their joy, prepared a feast ... and this glorious feast has been preserved from this time up to us, in memory of the king. "
The Shahnameh reports that the warrior Jamshid had always fought against evil. It was at the victorious end of a great battle that he was crowned king, bringing freedom and peace to his people. Thus the date of the coronation of the king became a feast, Norouz, which was celebrated every year at the palace of Apadana. However, in most ancient Persian texts, Jamshid, the Pishdadian emperor of Persia, is cited as the founder of this festival.
It is also interesting to know that the symbols of Norouz and the Iranian New Year, real architectural works, can still be admired today on the walls of Persepolis. They are witnesses of the rebirth and renewal of Nature. These are two animals: the lion and the cow. According to archaeologists, the first is the symbol of heat and sun and the other the symbol of the cold, the moon and the night. These engravings on the walls of the stairs of the palace of Apadana show us the battle between a lion and a cow, in which it seems that it is the lion who will win. The victory of the lion is the emblem of Norouz and the arrival of the New Year. The rest of the engravings include armed troops gathered around the Achaemenid king; they celebrate the end of cold and winter.