March 21st marks the beginning of the New Year or Nowruz in the Iranian Jalali calendar. Today, More than 300 million people around the world celebrate Nowruz as their New Year ceremony.
Nowruz is celebrated primarily in Greater Iran, Caucasus and Central Asia. Nowruz has also spread in many other regions of the world, including parts of South Asia, Northwestern China, Crimea, Somalia and Yemen. It is also celebrated by some ethnic groups in Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia, and by Kurds in Iraq, Turkey, and Syria, as well as Parsis in the Indian subcontinent.
Nowruz is an official holiday in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey, and etc. Also the Canadian parliament passed a bill to add Nowruz to the national calendar of Canada, on March 30, 2009. It is good to know that Nowruz is officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Nowruz has its especial traditions and customs, people usually prepare themselves since a few days before this holiday. The most principal element in this holiday is the Table of Haft–Seen which includes 7 items starting with the sound “S” in the Persian language. There are many other elements including Haji Firuz, Charshanbe Suri, Eidi, Sizdah-Bedar and etc. related to this festival which we suggest you to read this article about Nowruz on Wikipedia to learn more about them: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nowruz
IT IS ALMOST NOWRUZ, SO HAPPY NOWRUZ EVERYBODY!
Happy New Year everybody! We hope that you are going to be more successful and happier than ever in 2014. Altogether, the year 2013 was a very good year for us, since we published 3 issues of our magazine and we learnt a lot along the way. We hope it was the same for you.
The following days are going to busy days for most of you, because you are either in Christmas holidays, or if you are a student in Iran you are unlucky enough to have to study for the final exams of fall semester. We hope that whatever you are doing you will be successful with it.
First of all, let us congratulate the Iranian people who voted for the reformations. Today that I am writing this log is a very happy day for us the people of Iran. I hope that by the new government coming into power, there is going to be more freedom for the writers and the journalists who are the beating heart of the culture of every country.
Let us begin by introducing to you Derafsh-e Mehr, an English literary journal published by the students of the University of Mazandaran at Iran, despite knowing that this might be rather late to post an introduction, because we have already printed the first issue of Derafsh-e Mehr in April 2013. But unfortunately we could not do it much sooner, since we had a very tight schedule to gather, edit, and print all material for the first issue, and later like all other students we had to study for the final exams. We forced ourselves to print one issue in the spring of 2013 before the semester ends. It was very important for us to present a sample of our works before the long summer vacations. But many students of our university already know some about this journal, because we have given a brief introduction in our first issue, and we have also created a page and a discussion group on Facebook website, which is visited by some of the students. But because the majority of the students in Iran do not have access to Facebook, we found it necessary to make a weblog to facilitate the reach to our announcements and news regarding the journal. So, without any further ado, Let us see what Derafsh-e Mehr is all about: Continue reading