Happy Nowruz, everyone, and a hearty welcome to glorious spring weather!
Nowruz is a holiday that falls on the spring equinox and is associated with the new year in many Persian and Central Asian cultures and ancient religions, including Zoroastrianism, one of several faiths practiced in Armenia's pre-Christian days.
I haven't read about Nowruz in any of my books about Armenia, nor have I heard of it from any of our Armenian friends or coworkers; I just happened to come across the information in the "On This Day" section of Wikipedia's main page today. Apparently, celebrants traditionally prepare for Nowruz a day in advance by Khoune Takouni (literally means 'shaking the house') or 'complete cleaning of the house', followed by visits to the homes of friends, family, and neighbors on the holiday itself. Unlike the modern Armenian New Year, which is celebrated with mandatory gluttony, foods customarily served to guests for Nowruz include fresh and dried fruits, pastries, cookies, nuts, tea, sherbert, and other light fare.
Our upstairs neighbors in our apartment building are Iranian, so I wonder if they'll be celebrating...? They are really nice and have had us over a few times. They have a 4 year-old grandson, Misha (Michael), who is not crazy about sharing his toys with Nathan, but he did stop by our apartment at Christmastime to deliver a gift to him.
If you are interested, you can read more about Nowruz here!