Nowruz, or Persian New Year, falls on March 20th this year, marking the arrival of spring and for many, a new spiritual beginning. Nowruz is typically celebrated by Perisian peoples in and around Iran, and you can find these traditions spanning Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, among other, and is celebrated as an official state holiday in Iran. Cuisine plays a major role in the celebration of Nowruz, using ingredients and bold flavors to symbolize springtime and new beginnings.
What is Nowruz, and how do I celebrate?
The holiday of Nowruz (sometimes spelled Novruz or Norooz) is rooted in a feast from Zoroastrianism, which celebrates the arrival of spring and a victory over darkness. It also marks the vernal equinox, and celebrations of Nowruz can begin in the weeks beforehand. These preparations focus on ringing in a healthful new year and are celebrated with motifs of new life and growth. You’ll see this theme pop up in traditional feast dishes featuring herbs, fish, seeds, and eggs.
What flavors are featured in Nowruz celebrations?
You’ll find flavors from traditional Persian cuisine throughout the feast, including saffron, rosewater, and cardamom. You’ll also find lots of fresh herbs and vibrant colors to symbolize new life and rebirth. Fresh and dried fruit and nuts are commonly added to sweet and savory dishes alike, to celebrate the arrival of springtime. Sweets also play a big role in the meal, bringing hope for a sweet and fruitful new year.
What makes this Nowruz so important?
Afghanistan and its surrounding countries have had a difficult time over these past few months. As the first Nowruz since Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in August of last year, this holiday may look different across Afghan Persian communities. At Rumi, our mission is to lift up and celebrate the vibrant cultures and flavors of Afghanistan and beyond, to celebrate the vibrant culture and delicious cuisine this region has to offer. We hope that by sharing recipes like these, our customers can share in the celebration of rich cultural traditions like Nowruz.
Discover some of our favorite recipes to celebrate Nowruz, featuring Rumi spices:
Kuku sabzi (Herb and leek frittata)
Rumi recipes inspired by the flavors of Nowruz:
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with pomegranate and rich ras el hanout vinaigrette
Zesty Za’atar chickpea salad
We want to wish everyone a happy Nowruz and a bountiful springtime!