South students celebrate Persian/Muslim holiday: Norouz

Kiersten Teresi, staff writer

Jumping over fire. Attending festivals and parades. Coloring eggs. Celebrating for days on end. These are just some of the things that characterize Norouz.

Norouz is a Shia-Muslim/Persian holiday that starts in the beginning of spring, and marks the beginning of a new year, according to Iranian, and some Muslim calendars. It is celebrated with symbols such as grass, eggs, fish, and apples.

“Norouz means ‘new day’,” sophomore Areesha Majheed said. “So, it’s celebrated on March 21, which really reflects the beginning of spring.”

According to sophomore Sara Mouayed, it is more long-term holiday that includes a table set up with seven things that represent a new year.

“The week before, there’s this other holiday for Persian new year – you jump over fire to get rid of last year’s thoughts,” Mouayed said. “It’s fun, every year you get better at it.” She said even the younger children can get into it, by jumping over smaller fires.

It focuses a lot on bringing in new, happy thoughts and ideas to ring in the new-year. Traditionally, people eat fish, rice, yogurt, and other side dishes. There are certain food eat each day, according to Mouayed.

Norouz is several days of food, festivities, family and friends, and fun.

“It brings everybody together-everybody’s just really happy,” Mouayed said.

There is also a celebration at a banquet hall where they dance and famous Persian singers come, according to Mouayed.

“The vibe is so happy- everybody comes and is so excited to start the New Year,” she said.

Many people come together to celebrate the events leading in and out of Norouz. It’s a way to bring people together, and they can participate in fun activities that everyone can enjoy, according to Mouayed.

“My favorite part is how we get to celebrate with our family, and how we just spend some time together,” sophomore Kiran Ajani said.

Aside from fire-jumping and attending festivals, there are also other ways to celebrate. Majeed talked about some of her family traditions.

“Coloring eggs is a huge tradition […] the reason you do eggs is because it symbolizes new life,” Majheed said.

According to Majheed, it’s a fun thing that she does with her family, and the eggs can be decorated in different ways.

“I remember for our Saturday school, our project was to make a Norouz basket,” Majheed said. “I remember me and my mom were up for two, three hours coloring eggs […] it’s fun, I still do it every year.”

Out of all the activities there are to do during this holiday, it’s hard to pick just one, according to Mouayed.

“I love every part of it; it’s always so happy, and it is my favorite holiday,” Mouayed said. “I think I love it more than my birthday.”