The first day of Spring and the Persian New Year, Norouz, is a 3000-year old holiday filled with many beautiful traditions and is celebrated in parts of the middle east.
It’s like a fog has lifted over my head. Spring is here. Today marks the first day of spring, as well as the first day of the Persian New Year. It really is a time of rebirth, especially for me. My mood is very tied to the weather and the seasons.
Maybe in a past life some unfortunate event occurred during the dark hours of winter. I’m not sure what it is, but I always feel happier, more productive, more creative and, dare I say more optimistic in the Spring and Summer months.
I love seeing the flowers bloom in the spring. I love the feel of sunshine warming me inside and out. I love that the days are longer. I love that we are outdoors more than in.
Last night we welcomed the new year with my husband’s family. My mother-in-law set her beautiful haft-sin and prepared a monumental feast, featuring all of the traditional foods. Sweets and treats caught the attention of the little ones as they tried to outsmart their parents, and stealthily returned for extra sugar helpings.
The traditionally aidi was handed to the younger generation from the not-so-younger generation. Giggles were heard from the children as they compared how much money each had received, as they stuffed their loot into their pockets.
I eagerly awaited for dinner to be served. One of my favorite dishes for this time of year is my mother-in-laws ash-eh reshteh. The cold night called out for a hearty bowl of this vegetarian soup. The variety of beans and herbs with the reshteh, noodles, that symbolize a long and successful life.
Each family member has a preference on how to sour the soup: vinegar, lemon juice, kashk or sour cream. My mother usually accommodates for everyone’s preferences.
The new year rolled in last night at 10:14 pm here in California. My kids were zombies, but relished that they could stay up late on a school night. I had my reservations about keeping them up so late, about the grumpy moods that would greet me this morning as we went through our morning ritual of preparing for school.
They squealed when I told them that it was okay for them to show up to school a little late today. That seemed to be what they needed, an extra hour to let their eyes adjust to the brilliant morning sun today.
No tears. No fights. No yelling.
I love spring.
Want to learn more about Norouz and the Persian New Year? I have put together an ebook that has all the history, traditions and recipes of Norouz, in a beautifully photographed ebook. And it’s only $1.99! Learn more here!