Navroz has always been my favourite day of the year. As a spring baby – and lover of long, bright days – the spring equinox symbolizes a renewal of energy for me, both spiritual and physical. I look to signs that Navroz is on its way from almost the start of February! Later sunsets, resilient green shoots braving the last of winter, tiny chirping sounds from the trees all remind me that in a life that is constantly changing, I can always count on Nature’s rhythms.
Navroz (meaning New Day in Farsi) is celebrated on March 21 by Ismaili Muslims worldwide as well as by many other cultures and faith groups with ties to Persia and Turkey. Within each culture, and indeed within each family, this symbolic new year is commemorated in many ways. Some of the more common traditions include cleaning one’s home, preparing a festive meal including sweets and spending time with family. Ismailis also spend the evening in prayer, singing and reciting devotional poetry. Like with every meaningful day, the energy in the congregation is joyful and expectant: new-ness seems to be synonymous with possibility!
Before our children were born, my husband and I decided that we would make Navroz the biggest festival in our home. It’s tough to rival a holiday like Christmas but we give it our best shot! For several years, we painted eggs at an annual lunch with our extended family. Now that the kids are older, they want to try something different so we brainstormed a few ideas that include spending time in Nature and treating strangers with kindness.
Here are 5 ways we will celebrate Navroz in our home this year:
- Go for a walk around the neighbourhood and notice what’s new in the gardens around us.
- Try a new trail in one of our city’s numerous parks and discover items scavenger-hunt style.
- Participate in a ‘feed the hungry’ program in our city and distribute traditional sweets as well as protein-packed lunches.
- Each come up with one random act of kindness and then execute them as a family.
- Donate diapers and baby supplies to the local food bank for all the new spring babies!
Whether or not you officially celebrate Navroz through your cultural or faith background, you probably agree that spring is a great time to get outside again, count your blessings, and reaffirm your commitment to your mind, body and soulful practices.
How do you celebrate the new-ness of this season?