Celebrating the new year

Article image - Celebrating the new year Kurdish, Afghani and Iranian community members with Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM

Wollongong City Council, New South Wales, celebrated the beginning of autumn with the traditional Iranian, Afghani and Kurdish community celebration of Naw Ruz.

Meaning ‘new day’, Naw Ruz is a new year celebration, the biggest secular event in dozens of countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Naw Ruz is part of a 3,000-year-old celebration to mark the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery AM, said that it was an opportunity for the community to enjoy dancers, live music and sample some of the wonderful food of Iran and Afghanistan.

“This is the first time there has been an open public event for the whole community to share Naw Ruz celebrations.”

Many communities across the Middle East and Central Asia such as Iran, Iraq (Kurds and Turkmens), Pakistan (Pashtuns and Baluchs), Turkey (Azerbaijanis, Kurds and Yörüks), Tajikistan,  Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and India (Parsis) celebrate Naw Ruz on the Spring equinox.

For many it is a time for house cleaning or ‘shaking the house’. People prepare with a major spring-cleaning of their house and the purchase of new clothes to wear for the new year, as well as the purchase of flowers.

Traditionally Naw Ruz is also a time for visiting elders, family members and friends’ houses to give and receive a gift.