Persian Lesson 71 – Norouz: the Persian New Year

Salam! Khosh amadid!

What is Norouz (Iranian / Persian New Year)?

Hello everyone, happy Persian New Year (Norouz) to all of you!

As you probably know, we are approaching the Persian New Year, which is called Norouz.

Etymologically speaking, “no” means “new” in Persian, and “rouz” or “ruz” means “day”.

So, “Norouz” means “new day”. The Iranians refer to the first day of spring as their “new day of the new year” or simply Norouz. In Persian calendar, each year starts with the first day of spring and ends with the last day of winter.

For a couple of thousands of years, the Iranians have been celebrating this period with different kinds of celebrations and festivals.

The old year ends with a fire festival on the last Wednesday of the year. The last Wednesday of each year is called Chahaar Shanbeh Suri when people build fire all around the country and start singing, dancing around the fire, and jumping over the fire in different happy groups. One of the most common chants during this fire game is singing to the fire while jumping over it. People in groups sing, “May my yellowness go to you, and your redness come to me!!”. This ceremony has a religious background that goes back to Zoroaster who introduced fire as a cleansing and purifying element on the globe, which removes all kind of uncleanness from the earth. So, fire is regarded as Holy. Through this ceremony, people, symbolically, burn their old year’s weaknesses, sins, bad habits, and even their misfortunes with the hope of starting a new and fresh life in the coming New Year.

Then, people start painting their house, washing all their cloths as well as their carpets and whatsoever they use at home to keep them clean for the New Year. They, also, put some wheat on a plate and grow it green for some two weeks.

Then, it is the first day of spring or Norouz. On this day, people start the day with visiting their older parents, relatives, neighbors, and friends. In each house, you will find special garment known as Sofreh on which are a small red fish in a jar, different kinds of chocolates, seasonal snacks, and seven traditional things that start with “S”. Generally, people serve fish on this day.

For two weeks, people enjoy visiting relatives and traveling to different cities to have fun. On the evening of 13th day, the New Year holiday finishes with another ceremony. This day is called “Sizdah Bedar” when almost everybody should spend their time outside their house in a barbeque, in parks, mountains, or even in cinema! At the end of the day, they take the wheat in a plate, which is grown up and green by now, to a river or simply to some water if river is not accessible. Then, they throw the green wheat in water and pick up 13 small stones. They throw the stones one after another into the water, sing another song, and wish to end this year and start next year more successfully and happily.

I hope you enjoyed this brief explanation of our Persian new year.

Once more, wish you all a very happy Norouz and a wonderful Persian new year!

All right, now let’s do the quiz first and then go to Useful Drills page.


1- Listen to the audio files first (preferably once). Repeat it for a couple of times. Write it down on a paper. Find their English equivalents. (Seen)







2- Find the English equivalent for the following words and make four sentences with each of them (one in simple past tense, one in present perfect tense using ‘for’, one in simple future tense, and one in past perfect tense).

3- Say these numbers in Persian:

4- Follow the examples, combine the letters, and make words using the given letters. You’ll have to change the big letters into the small ones whenever needed.

Friend <= /du:st/ < ==

Book <= /keta:b/ < ==

To eat <= /khordæn/< ==

To kill <= /koshtæn/ < ==

To plant <= /ka:shtæn/ < ==

Curtain <= /pærdeh/ < ==

Please go to Useful drills page to practice more.

Let’s write page is waiting for you if you want to learn and practice Persian writings.

See you next week!

Khoda Hafez!

Lesson 71