One of the specific attributes of festivities in Persian culture is that they are mostly tied to natural seasons.
From the harvest festival of Mehrgan at the start of autumn to Sadeh, the festival of lights signaling the beginning of longer days and shorter nights, to the Tir festival at the beginning of summer, they are all tied in one way or another to the changing calendar.
These festivals have points in common, and one of the most fundamental is that they celebrate life, liberty, joy, happiness and peace and are in harmony with each other and with nature.
Perhaps the most important is NowRuz, which signals the rebirth of our nature on a selfless, fragile and tiny blue dot planet we all call home.
No one knows exactly when NowRuz started, but some say it dates back 6 millenia, or 2,000 years before the great pyramids of Egypt.
The importance of NowRuz is not just in its roots in ancient times. It is still celebrated around the world, stronger than before after about 6,000 years, among more than 350 million people of Persian heritage and/or those nations that have been under or in contact with Persian culture. Its importance is in its simple profound meaning and humanitarian message.
NowRuz, which means "New Day," brings us the messages of love, hope, happiness, joy, harmony and peace, no matter which country we live in, what religion we follow, what our ethnicity/background are or whether or not we are of Persian heritage.
The universalism of NowRuz has been the reason for the United Nations to declare "NowRuz International Day" and that for the last three decades various U.S. administrations, regardless of party affiliation, have celebrated NowRuz at the White House.
This year, just like the last three, the Iranian American Community Group, an umbrella organization of 14 other institutions in Orange County, will continue to celebrate its successful NowRuz festival at Rose Garden-Bill from 1 to 6 p.m. March 26 at Barber Park in Irvine.
This is an all-inclusive festival with NowRuz's ever-fresh messages of love and peace. This is open to public to come and enjoy celebration of life and the triumph of light over darkness.
We hope to see you, your family and loved ones. May joy, love, peace, happiness and harmony be with all of you this Persian new year.
K.E. MEHRFAR lives in Newport Beach