Californians to Celebrate Persian New Year

March 20, 2003

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 20, 2003 the Los Angeles Times reported that "at precisely 15 seconds before 5 o'clock tonight, a million Southern Californians of Persian descent will mark the beginning of their new year... Thanks to the Internet, the ancient story is recounted on a handful of Persian Web sites. The two-week celebration is the most important in Persian culture. Because invaders hate the old traditions, whenever Persia -- modern-day Iran -- was conquered through the millennia, the new leaders tried to erase the celebration from the calendar... But Norooz, or Persian New Year, is as inevitable as spring, the annual miracle it celebrates... Like Easter and Passover and a dozen other ancient holidays, Norooz is about the end of a dark time and regeneration and rebirth... The tradition has religious significance for those who still practice the ancient Zoroastrian religion, but Muslims and Jews of Persian heritage continue the tradition as well."