Novruz – a Holiday of Spring
Novruz is a holiday of the spring equinox and New Year in many countries. Novruz translated from Persian means "new day". The tradition of celebrating the Novruz spring holiday appeared more than three thousand years ago. For the first time, Novruz began to be celebrated on the territory of present-day Iran, in the Khorasan region. Novruz is a holiday of the New Year according to the solar calendar among the Iranian and Turkic peoples. Now Novruz is celebrated in Muslim countries, but the holiday itself is not directly related to Islam, and appeared even before Muslim customs spread in these regions. Moreover, the celebration of Nowruz in Turkey was prohibited for a certain period, and in Syria – to this day.
Celebrating Novruz in Different Countries of the World
Currently, Novruz is celebrated in many countries – in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, as well as in Albania, Macedonia and Turkey. Celebrations are widely held in Azerbaijan, where this holiday is called Novruz Bayram, which literally translates as “Novruz holiday”. Novruz is also celebrated in some regions of Russia – in Tatarstan, Dagestan and Bashkortostan. The Novruz holiday is held in China, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Novruz is also celebrated in some regions of India and Iraqi Kurdistan.
Traditions of Novruz Holiday
The traditions of celebrating Nowruz in different countries are slightly different, but, as in the old days, the worship of fire has survived – it is customary for some peoples to kindle fires. In addition, candles are an integral part of the festive table for Novruz. Another old tradition dating back to the times of Zoroastrianism is the germination of grain to Novruz, green sprouts are one of the visiting cards of Novruz in many countries. The culinary traditions of the Novruz holiday are also due to the old times – both earlier and now, colored eggs are present on the festive table. On Novruz, many dishes are prepared from wheat and barley, peas and lentils, rice and sesame seeds, millet and corn, beans and beans. In Uzbekistan, sumalak is prepared for Novruz – a traditional Uzbek dish made from sprouts of recently sprouted wheat.
Novruz Bayram in Azerbaijan
Novruz Bayram is a very widely celebrated holiday in Azerbaijan. This is one of the main holidays in Azerbaijan, along with such holidays as the religious Ramadan Bayram and the secular New Year. Novruz Bayram is celebrated in Azerbaijan for 5 days, which must be on March 20 and 21, which falls on the vernal equinox. The days of the celebration are selected in advance, before December, and are also announced in advance. Novruz Bayram is celebrated in honor of the renewal of nature and the arrival of spring. Traditionally, bonfires are kindled on Novruz Bayram in Azerbaijan, and sweets and festive Azerbaijani dishes are cooked.
Azerbaijani Food Recipes for Novruz Bayram
The culinary traditions of Azerbaijan on Novruz Bayram follow the traditions of celebrating Novruz in the old days, but also have their own national characteristics. On Novruz Bayram, confectionery products of Azerbaijani cuisine are cooked, such as shekerbura and baklava, badambura, shor-gogal and other sweets. The main dish on the Azerbaijani table at Novruz is festive pilaf. For Novruz Bayram, Azerbaijanis plant semeni – wheat sprouting in a plate; this green island of young greenery is an integral symbol of Azerbaijani Novruz Bayram. According to one of the traditions, seven dishes with the letter "s" should be present on the table at Novruz in Azerbaijan: syud (milk), sirke (vinegar), semeni (sprouted wheat), sabzi (herbs), sumakh (seasoning) and other food products... There is also a tradition to boil and paint eggs for the festive table, and then test them for strength. And in Azerbaijan, it is customary to prepare khoncha for Novruz – an elegantly decorated tray with sweets and treats.