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Celebrating Nowruz in Reston

Community comes together to celebrate Persian New Year.

Iranian-American folk musicians performed traditional music for the large crowd.

Iranian-American folk musicians performed traditional music for the large crowd. Photo by Michael McKee

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Golostan Mostafavi and her daughter Sara pose with Professor Ashkbous Talebi from the University of Maryland. They represented the Turkish Ghashghaic tribe, from Southern Iran.

The Persian New Year was greeted by a day-long celebration at the Reston Town Center on Sunday. Folk musicians played traditional music in the Pavilion, adults ate, talked and shopped and children played everywhere.

Nowruz is special to many because it does not engender any sectarian strife. This is a festival of early Spring, of renewal and of the future. The vernal equinox, or "Tahvil," can be enjoyed by all. There are even seven separate food dishes that prepare Iranians ("Persians") for Nowruz. They represent rebirth, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, patience and beauty.

The full annual Nowruz celebration actually encompasses thirteen days and has many rituals, all having to do with aspects of hope and renewal. For example, on "Red Wednesday," everyone goes outside where several little potted fires are lit. Then, carefully, the family members run and quickly jump over the fires. While doing this, in Farsi, they say "Give me your redness and take away my wintry sallow complexion!"