Spring comes to Azerbaijan

20 March 2017

Novruz is one of the oldest holidays in the world. Novruz means greeting a new year and the first day of spring. That’s when winter ends and spring begins. Novruz is the celebration of spring, its first day, the awakening of nature and earth.

Azerbaijanis celebrate Novruz very lavishly and the prepations begin a month before. Every Tueday leading up to Novruz is dedicated to one element – water, fire, earth and wind. According to traditional beliefs, the water is reborn first, then the fire, the earth, and finally the wind helps trees shake to inform the arrival of spring.

Every family starts preparing to Novruz at least when there’s still a month left. The houses are cleaned, dishes and clothes are washed. Yards are sweeped. People start sewing clothes for themselves.

Our traditions and values passed down over centuries found their reflection in Novruz , which is a time to celebrate unity and kindness, as well as helping and caring about each other. Novruz is the beginning of health and happiness. Novruz is the holiday od high spirit, hard work, and kindness towards earth and people.

According to traditions, a table is set in every house. The process is begun with the last Tuesday. The holiday table must include a khoncha. Numerous sweets are baked, including shekerbura, bakhlava, shorqoqal, shekerchoreyi, badambura and so on.

Besides the sweets, the table also includes different kinds of nuts and dried fruit.

Samani is put in the middle of the khoncha, along with a candle and an egg for each family member. These have their own meaning: a candle represents fire, light that protects people from evil spirits.

Novruz also has interesting traditions. Bonfires are made and during the last Tuesday evryone jumps over the bonfire seven times, regardless of age and gender. Jumping over the bonfire burns last year’s problems. When jumping, people say the phrase “Let the fire burn my pains”.

The holiday’s main goal is to make peace between those who hold grudges. People should care for neighbors, old people, the ill and visit the graves od deceased relatives. Tradition says that people should stay inside their homes during the first day of the holiday. Families with newborn babies are visited by friends given presents.

It’s worth noting that Novruz coincides with the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern hemisphere, the spring equinox on the 21st of March.

Along with Azerbaijan, Novruz is celebrated in the Caucasus, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Baku 2017 team congratulates our whole nation with  Novruz  and wishes you good health and successes in every endeavor of yours! Happy Holidays!

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