This is Nawruz, or new day, celebrated at the spring equinox throughout Iran, Afghanistan and many of the other so-called ‘Stans, as well as in India. The festival of Nawruz is thought to have begun in Zoroastrian times, but I suspect the spring equinox was honored and revered long before.

There are Names in every Nation given from God,
Which have unspeakable power in Rites.
When you see a sacred fire without form,
Shining flashingly through the Depths of the World,
Hear the voice of Fire.
–From the Oracle of Zoroaster


Tonight we will gather with friends for our annual Green Supper. Sort of an American-style Nowruz — when in Rome…as they say. We eat only green foods (tonight spinach pasta with green putanesca, edamame salad, asparagus, green tea  ice cream, that kind of thing). We recite and write poems. Each guest brings a tulip or daffofil and sometimes we read the tarot. I try to have wheatgrass growing in little pots as is the custom in Iran, though I think I started them too early. They look a little peaked (see Wahid Omar’s post about Samanak last year —

In Iran, there’s usually a goldfish on the table, for reasons I’m a litte vague about, with bowls of fruit, dates, nuts and other symbols of sweetness and abundance. And dancing.

Here is Niloufar Talebi, in a trailer for her rather dramatic performance about Nawruz.

Forgive this hasty post…with all its mistakes and clumsy writing (and not even miscorrected by Siri!). I’m off to buy fruit and dates and to clean the bathroom. But I wanted to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR, in peace and good health and happiness!!

Nawruz mubarak!!

Garcia Lorca's drawing
Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.
With the shade around her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
Green, how I want you green.
Under the gypsy moon,
all things are watching her
and she cannot see them.

Green, how I want you green.
Big hoarfrost stars
come with the fish of shadow
that opens the road of dawn.
The fig tree rubs its wind
with the sandpaper of its branches,
and the forest, cunning cat,
bristles its brittle fibers.
But who will come? And from where?
She is still on her balcony
green flesh, her hair green,
dreaming in the bitter sea.

–Federico García Lorca, Romance Sonambula