Novruz holiday celebration is one of the Azerbaijani people’s most important and favorite holidays. This marks the spring’s arrival and is observed on the vernal equinox, March 20-21–the celestial New Year’s end. The celebrations go on for 3 days, and at the end of the last winter month, the preparations for them start early.
Novruz is related to four of the most important signs of life, according to Zoroastrian beliefs: air, fire, wind and 5 flames. Zoroastrianism has led to a series of holidays linked to fire being established. The symbolic name is given to each of the last four Wednesdays. Beliefs and rituals about Novruz holiday celebrations are described in Avesta which is the main book of Zoroastrians religion.

Cleaning work needs to be done before the holidays, everybody needs to be tidy and wear new clothing. Most grain is set on a plate and sprayed on the first of the last four Wednesdays, so there is semen (sprouted wheat) by the holidays. In every household, Semeni is grown. Semeni, is Novruz’s primary feature, symbolizes abundance. During the Novruz holiday, eggs are painted and egg breaking competitions are held. The most colorful characters of the holiday are Kosa and Kechal, Going from door to door, they receive their share of the holiday feast and become the main source of fun.

Interesting horse races are being held in rural areas, called chovqan. central celebrations are usually held by the famous Maiden Tower’s walls. The tower’s top is adorned with a massive Samani, and the Spring beauty lights the torch mounted on the tower, the fire of which symbolizes nature and life’s awakening.

huge fire during the novruz celebrations

Traditional food

There must be an abundant selection of dishes, parties must be baked in every household and everyone must be at home, Therefore, there must be seven dishes starting with letter “5” on the tableş In some places, on Absheron in particular, it is used to cook halva, Azerbaijani pakhlava, shekarbura (sweet pastry in half-moon shape) shorgoghali (non-sweet multilayered bun with a savory)and the holiday pilaf are absolutely necessary on holidays. Govurga (fried wheat) is cooked and served together with walnuts, hazelnuts, and raisins. There is always a hat throwing tradition on Novruz holiday, as children put a hat at a door, knock on it and hide. The tradition goes that the host of a house I should fill the hat with Novruz delicacies.

food prepared during novruz holiday

Rituals about the Novruz Holiday

Many other traditions and practices remain, some of which vary depending on the location. What the Novruz bonfire never changes. Bonfires were installed in every community from the last Wednesdays of the year, including the holiday day. Both young people are actively participating in the tradition. The bonfire is built when it becomes dark, people gather, joke, laugh, have fun and dance, and when the fire becomes 7 smaller, jump over it saying “let all my pains and sorrows stay with you”, thus leaving all problems behind the past year. This is how the new year starts.