What is Nowruz?

Nowruz (‘now’ meaning ‘new’ and ‘ruz’ meaning ‘day’ or originally ‘light’) is the celebration of the Spring Equinox. It originates in Iran, but is celebrated by a number of countries in the region, and is recognized by the UN.

Nowruz is an ancient tradition, and as such the way it is celebrated varies from one place to another, but there are some things that are common. Spring cleaning, various festivities, visiting family and neighbors and a decorative centerpiece in homes and public places (‘Haft Seen’ in Iran) are part of most. Foods also vary, but many are symbolic such as eggs representing fertility, herbs for rebirth and fish for life. The various visits to friends and family are often accompanied by cookies and other sweet treats. Legend goes that one of the Persian kings discovered sugar on Nowruz, and candy comes from the Persian word ‘qand’ for sugar.

Persian herb rice with fish – sabzi polow mahi

Persian herb rice with fish, ‘sabzi polow mahi’, is a popular dish served for Nowruz which combines some of the most symbolic foods of the celebration into a delicious, fresh and healthy meal. It’s a dish that’s delicious any time.

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