Happy Nowruz to You

Smithsonian Celebrates Persian New Year Early

By Nancy Norman
|  Saturday, Mar 6, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 PM EDT
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Happy Nowruz to You

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Dancers participate in the New York Persian Parade March 25, 2007 in New York City.

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Come celebrate the kick-off of the  Persian New Year, Nowruz, at the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries on Sunday.

Experience the thrill of fire jumping, storytelling, music, art making and delicious food. You can also learn to play backgammon, the ancient Persian board game.  And just in case you were wondering, find out what each of the seven symbolic foods on the "haft sin" tables are. You will be fascinated.

Nowruz is rooted in Zoroastrianism which was the religion in Iran before Islam.  Around the world it is still celebrated in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Central Asian Counties.

Officially the Persian New Year is March 20, the first day of Spring.  So after you get into the spirit, give yourself the freedom to celebrate all week.

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