Nowrooz: New Day, New Light, New Year, Persian and Central Asian Cultures

Saturday, March 18, 2016, 4:00pm: Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT) presents an annual observance of this ancient and current multicultural festival. This event, open to all, features Persian music: Eshagh Shaoul, violinEshagh Shaoul, violinEshagh Shaoul together with Stephan Brandstatter and Jack Shaoul on drums, will perform traditional classical Iranian music and some original compositions. Music will alternate with and accompany selections of Persian, Bahá’í, and Sufi Poetry.

Videos of Nowrooz 2015 celebration featuring the music of Eshagh Shaoul and friends.

Nowrooz2017-flyer – or click the image-link at right, then again, and then enlarge for a flyer on the screen

Following the music and poetry, about 6pm, there will be a potluck, followed by more music. There may be spontaneous dancing as well! Donations for the music, food and space rental are accepted and appreciated. Nowrooz (Persian for “New Year”, “New Day”, and originally “New Light”) is celebrated in many parts of Asia and by Asians worldwide coinciding with the Spring Equinox. Nowrooz has been observed for thousands of years by the ancient cultures of Persia (present-day Iran), and is today celebrated by peoples and faiths in (but not limited to) Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, as well as by the Uighurs in northwestern China and the worldwide Kurd, Bahá’í, Sufi, and Zoroastrian communities (including the Parsis in India). The festival name has many spelling variants depending on the country and language such as Nauryz, Navroz, and Nawruz. There is the custom of setting a special table or spread (sofreh) with seven plates or bowls containing items all beginning with the Persian sound ‘s’ and ‘sh’ all symbolizing peace, prosperity, growth and other auspicious meanings. This table setting is called the (haft sīn). Nowrooz celebrates the arrival of Spring and is a thanksgiving celebration. Below is an example of the haft sīn table in Brattleboro’s Nowrooz celebration of 2007:
Haft sīn table for Nowrooz