A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nowruz Mobarak

Although most of us think of the spring equinox as March 21, this year the astronomical equinox is at 1:14 AM Eastern Daylight Time Tuesday morning. That also makes it Nowruz. I've gone into various aspects of Nowruz in my Nowruz posts for previous years, so let's just say that while it is, of course, the ancient Persian New Year, it is celebrated far beyond the borders of Iran: In Iranian-influenced areas well up into Central Asia on the one side, in Turkey and parts of the Balkans on the other; also among Kurds, Syrian Alawites and others in the Middle East, as well as members of the Zoroastrian and Baha'i faiths everywhere, and of course the broad Iranian diaspora. Nowruz means "New Day," a fine note to sound for spring, so a happy Nowruz to all.