Jamshed Navroz is commemorated to welcome the Zoroastrian New Year as per the Fasli calendar followed by the Zoroastrians. The festival is celebrated on 21st March which marks the Vernal Equinox, the shift of the season from winter to spring. This occasion also honors King Jamshed who is considered to ascend the throne on this particular day. Nowruz in Azerbaijan is known as Novruz Bayram. The festival is declared as an official public holiday and is marked with various traditions and rituals. Different delicacies are prepared and people dance to the tunes of folk bands. Browse through the lines below to know more about Azerbaijani Nowruz celebrations and traditions.
Nowruz Celebrations In Azerbaijan
Navroz was unofficially celebrated or even prohibited, at times, when Azerbaijan was a part of the Soviet Union. After the separation, the festival was declared an official public holiday which is still followed. As per the Article 105 of the Labor Code of Azerbaijan passed in 2006, the workers of country get five days off to celebrate the New Year. Preparations for the festival begin about one month before. Each of the four weeks that follow is dedicated to one of the four elements and is celebrated on every Tuesday. These elements include water, fire, earth and wind.
People get busy with cleaning their homes removing every bit of dirt from every corner and paint them new. They plant trees, paint eggs and make new dresses for every member of the family. A large variety of national cuisine and national pastries, such as shakarbura and pakhlava, are made. Traditionally, wheat is fried along with kishmish (raisins) and nuts (govurga). On every Tuesday during the four weeks, small bonfires and candles are lit. Kids then jump over them as a tribute to fire-worshipping. On Jamshed Navroz Eve, various dishes are laid on the table to make the coming year rich.
The table is decorated with Samani placed in the center of a big silver or copper tray known as khoncha. Candles and dyed eggs are also placed equivalent to the number of members in the family. The table should include at least seven dishes. The entire family gathers around this table and consumes the savories prepared. Nowruz holiday continues for about a week (in some places for several days). The festive season ends on a spectacular and magnificent note. One can view people dancing publicly, contests of national sports and other entertainment of folk bands. Crop holidays are observed in rural areas of Azerbaijan.