Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan today congratulated Armenia’s Kurdish community on the occasion of Novruz (Nowruz or Norooz — Persian New Year).
“Let this dazzling holiday bring joy and happiness to each Kurdish family. I wish that together with spring and awakening your cherished wishes and goals come true and success comes to every area of your community life and social life of our common home. We, in turn, are ready to provide all around assistance in resolving any problems that might arise.
“Dear Kurd compatriots,
“Your concerns are all of our concerns, and your joy is all of our joy,” he said, according to the statement published on the president’s official website.
Falling on the Spring equinox, Nowruz is a 13-day celebration with rich, ancient rituals and customs that usher in the new year. Nowruz includes “Khouneh Tekouni” meaning Spring Cleaning, “Chahârshanbe Sûrî,” which literally translates as “Red Wednesday” but involves jumping over bonfires while singing a traditional song. Nowruz is also celebrated in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and in Kurdish communities, writes ianyan magazine.
Perhaps the most symbolic part of Nowruz is the “Haft Sin” table, which contains seven items that all start with the letter “S.” They include:
Sabzeh (lentils or barley): symbolizing good fortune
Samanu (sweet pudding): symbolizing fertility and affluence
Sir (garlic): symbolizing medicine
Senjed (fruit from the oleaster tree); symbolizing love
Sib (apples): symbolizing health and beauty
Sumac (sumac berries): symbolizing the color of the sunrise
Serkeh (vinegar): symbolizing age and patience
The table can also include candles (happiness), coins (wealth), goldfish in water (life within life) and a holy book (Qur’an, Bible, Torah) or a poetry book (Hafez)