Nowruz in Iran
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani felicitated the Iranian nation on the advent of Nowruz, the start of the New Persian Year, and underlined the necessity for the country to further develop and increase production and economic growth.
In a televised address to the Iranian nation on Monday, President Rouhani expressed the hope that the new year would be the year of progress and development, as well as employment for the youth.
"This year we have a year full of blessings because it is concurrent with the birthday of Hazrat Fatima al-Zahra (AS) - the daughter of Islam's Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) - and heavenly and divine blessings. God-willing, we will follow the path of unity and empathy and efforts for our country’s pride," he said.
"The message of Nowruz for us is letting grudges go. The message of Nowruz for us is the message of prosperity and liveliness. In this year that we have elections coming, we need to learn the necessary lessons of Nowruz and nature more than ever," President Rouhani added.
"The new year will be the year of progress and development for our dear nation. The new year will be the year of more employment for our youths. We need to carry out more efforts to compensate for the shortcoming," he said.
"In the new year, we have two important elections ahead of us. We all must try to have a more active role and presence. We must turn out in large in healthy and legal elections," President Rouhani said.
"God-willing we will join hands and have very good elections. I hope our dear country be safe in the current year and coming years; I hope our dear and honorable people of Iran live their lives with more unity and economic prosperity," he said.
Nowruz, which coincides with the first day of spring on the solar calendar, is mostly celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
The International Day of Nowruz was registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on February 23, 2010.
For Iranians, Nowruz is a celebration of renewal and change, a time to visit relatives and friends, and pay respect to senior family members.
Iranians welcome the New Year by wearing new clothes and setting the Haft Seen, a table containing seven items starting with the letter 'S'; Sabzeh (freshly grown greens), Samanu (sweet wheat paste), Senjed (jujube), Seeb (apple), Seer (garlic), Serkeh (vinegar) and Somaq (sumac).