One of the most special dish cooked on the occasion of Nowruz is Samanu
Commenced from Monday (March 20), the spring is considered as the most cheerful season of all. This is the season of the year between winter and summer. Spring is very short in the polar regions but is the most favorite of everyone. In many cultures of the world, spring has been celebrated with rituals. The concept of spring is associated with the sowing of crops. During this time of the year all plants begin growth anew after the dormancy of winter.
Beginning of the spring means the celebrations of Nowruz festival started. The special festival is commonly known as the Iranian or Persian New Year. It is celebrated by various ethnicities worldwide. It is a festival based on the Iranian Solar Hijri calendar. It has been celebrated by diverse communities for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia. The Nowruz word is a combination of Persian words now and ruz which means a 'new day'.
Where is Nowruz celebrated?
Nowruz is being celebrated since years by more than 300 million people in Iran and other countries. Reportedly, the holiday has been observed in the Middle East and parts of Asia. Children gets vacations on the festival. They spend time with families. Presently, it is celebrated by people in countries beyond Iran, including India, Afghanistan, Turkey and Pakistan.
Traditional Customs of Nowruz .....
The Rituals or customs of the festival differ between the diverse peoples and countries that celebrate the festival. Significantly, it is a festival of plants, fire, water, ritual dances, gift exchanges, reciting poetry, symbolic objects, new clothes, dinner parties, singing, dancing, family get together and more.
People clean their entire house before the Nowruz festival. It is considered a festival of purity and happiness. They buy new clothes to wear for the New Year. People also decorate their houses, offices and shops with different variety of flowers. During the holidays, people make visits to the homes of family, friends and neighbors. Tea, coffee and pastries, cookies, fresh and dried fruits and mixed nuts, dry cakes or other snacks are mainly offered to the guests.
Talking about the food, one of the most special dish cooked on the occasion of Nowruz is Samanu (Samanak, Somank, Somalek) which is prepared using wheat germ. Women and girls in different parts of Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan cook Samanu in groups. Sabzi polo with fish, Nan-e Nokhodchi are some other dishes cooked on the Nowruz.
As per the wikipedia, The Shahnameh has the credit of the foundation of Nowruz to the mythical Iranian King Jamshid, who saves mankind from a winter destined to kill every living creature. Jamshid constructed a throne studded with gems to defeat the winter. He had demons raise him above the earth into the heavens where he sat, shining like the Sun. The world's creatures gathered and scattered jewels around him and proclaimed that this was the New Day (Now Ruz).