Azerbaijan celebrating Novruz Holiday today

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Today, the people of Azerbaijan are celebrating Novruz, one of the favorite holidays countrywide, Report informs.

This holiday, being one of the ancient traditions of the country, is celebrated in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan for the second time. Therefore, this year’s holiday causes a special feeling of pride in people of the country, just like it was a year ago.

Spring will enter Azerbaijan at 19:33:23 on March 20. At this time, night and day will be equal, the Sun will move along the ecliptic, cross the equator, and move from the Southern Hemisphere to the North. From then on, astronomical spring will begin in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Spring will last for 92 days, 17 hours and 40 minutes.

Novruz holiday, which is associated with the eternal laws of nature and the unchanging order of the universe, is the first day of spring that signals the equinox. Celebrating Novruz means celebrating the new year, the first day of spring.

Novruz holiday was included in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage on September 30, 2009.

Novruz preparations usually begin a month before the festival. Each of the forthcoming 4 weeks is devoted to one of the four elements and called accordingly in Azerbaijan. Each Tuesday, people celebrate the day of one of the four elements – water, fire, wind, and earth.

People do house-cleaning, plant trees, sew new dresses, paint eggs, make national pastries such as shakarbura, pakhlava, shorgoghal and a great variety of national cuisine. Wheat is fried with kishmish (raisins) and nuts (govurga).

Novruz is a family holiday. On the eve of the holiday, the whole family gathers around the holiday table laid with various dishes to make the New Year rich.
The decoration of the festive table is khoncha, a big silver or copper tray with Samani, green shoots from wheat seeds placed in the center, and candles and dyed eggs by the number of family members around it. At least seven dishes should be served.

Novruz also has interesting traditions related to water and fire. Being the land of fire, Azerbaijan has rich traditions. Fire is the symbol of purification and clarification. Both men and women jump seven times over a fire and say, “‘Give me your redness and take my yellowness.” The fire is never put out with water but is left to burn out. Young boys and girls take ashes from the fire and throw them far from their houses, which symbolizes throwing away all of the family’s misfortunes.