call Nowroz, a festive occasion, which is celebrated in Afghanistan,
of Central Asia, Turkey, Iran, Syria, and even in Pakistan as
exclusively the Persian New year, is inappropriate, politically
offensive to many other nations and historically wrong for the
to the information gathered from Avestan texts (Yasht and Vandidad)
the celebration of Nowroz for the first time started in Bukhdi or
Balkh circa 1300 BCE. This epoch according to Vedic texts in Sanskrit
corresponds with the era of Yamma, one of the first rulers of
Pishdadian Dynasty in Balkh.
Nowroz was observed during the rule of Weasht-Aasp the king of Balkh,
in the entire sacred land of Avesta which included Bukhdi, (Balkh)
Aria, (Herat), Darangiana, (Zaranj), Etomand (Helmand) , Arachosia,
(Kandahar), Bamikan (Bamiyan), Kophen (Kabul), Nangarhara,
(Nangarhar), and Gandahara and Purushpura (Khaybar and Peshawar). Out
the 16 cities that are mentioned in Avesta 12 of them are in the soil
of Afghanistan today.
emerged from the ancient Balkh and his religious ideas spread to
Sogdiana in Transoxiana and eastern shores of Caspian Sea circa 1100
BCE. His emphasis on celebrating and respecting farmers was one of
the core values of his teachings. This is the reason that the
Farmer’s Day is still celebrated in Afghanistan. We also have
special day for planting a tree during the festive days of the New
Year. These traditions are totally unknown to the Iranians.
the emergence of Avestan Culture, the Elamite Culture of Persia was
under the influence of Mesopotamian civilization. In most countries
of the Middle East the Lunar Calendar was common. It was not until
550 BCE, years later that the Persians became familiar with the
civilization of ancient Bactria during the era of the Achaemenids.
This was the time that they learned about the celebration of Nowroz.
the collapse of the Sassanid Kings of Persia by Islamic conquests in
642 AD, Persia became under the political and cultural influence of
the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphs for ten centuries. Thus Nowroz was
not celebrated in Persia for almost ten consecutive centuries. It was
during the era of the Safavid Kings in 16th century that the
celebration of Nowroz was started in Persia. However, during this
long period, in the reign of the Samanids, Ghaznawid, Ghorid and
Seljuk Kings Nowroz was widely celebrated in Afghanistan, Send,
Transoxiana, and Rum of Seljuks in Turkey.
this very reason, since Nowroz was a forgotten tradition in Persia,
the Iranians today combine totally unrelated items for the
celebration of the New Year such as, Garlic, Apple, Vinegar, Spinach,
Live Fish in a glass bowl and Samaq (a special spice for meat) and
some other item on their Nowroz table, which are completely
irrelevant to celebration of the spring and starting a happy New
Afghanistan we make of the juice of seven fruits, which symbolizes
prosperity and freshness of spring. They are dried fruits but by
getting mixed with water they will become fresh again. As the rain
falls and makes the dried nature prosperous again.
to call the celebration of Nowroz, exclusively a Persian New Year is
incorrect. This is a mistake that often the western writers who are
fed incorrectly by the Iranian writers make; however, the people who
are from the same region and know their history and culture should
not make such a mistake.