Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Protect Norooz!

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Right after I posted about too much holiday, I got in a cab to go home. “Did you have to go to the bank today?” the driver asked me.


“A half-hour errand ended up taking three hours. Everyone had to pay water and electricity and put money in the bank and take money out.”

The radio was on. The woman announcer was articulately complaining about the surprise holiday. Her final point was “Now they will probably announce that the Norooz (New Year’s) holidays are only one day. Eh.” (I love the way Iranians say “eh”)

This morning, during my morning cab ride, I heard the report from Parliament on the radio. One of the parliamentarians was trying to convince us that Eid-e Fetr was important for Iran and that Iran, because it is a Muslim nation, should have at least two days of holiday at the end of Ramadan.
“Even Muslims don’t agree with him,” the driver said. “Even they don’t think that we should celebrate Eid-e Fetr instead of Norooz.”

“Norooz is the best New Year in the world,” I tell him. “Ours is crap. January First. What kind of new year is that?”

Norooz falls at the Spring Equinox and is the same for everyone around the world. It is an Iranian national holiday: the only one left that has nothing to do with Islam or revolution.

Norooz is the most festive and amazing time of year in Iran. No matter what the government does, people take off for at least 10 days and most take 15. Last year they tried to make Sizdeh Bedar (the 13th day after the New Year and a national picnic day) a work day. They were not successful. They also tried to convince Iranians not to celebrate the last Tuesday of the year. Again, they were unsuccessful.

This past year’s celebration of the last Tuesday of the year:

Give me Your Red

Scroll to near the bottom of a round-up of nuclear-related posts in my article

All about Norooz at Wikipedia

Our surprise holiday:
Too Much Holiday


Matt said...

I've seen photos of Norooz. You guys party hard!

Anonymous said...

"an Iranian national holiday: the only one left that has nothing to do with Islam or revolution. "

I thought Shab-e Yalda was also free of revolutionary accretions.

ET said...

Anonymous, Shab-e Yalda is an ancient holiday, but not a national one. Iranians still go to work on that day, banking is still conducted, factories are still open. Norooz is both an ancient holiday and a national holiday with official time off.