The Persian New Year is a very old holiday, predating Islam, and having roots in the Zoroastrian religion of ancient Persia. The roots of Jewish Purim are thought to be in Nowruz. It is also, the first day of Spring. The celebration will go on until Sizdah Bedar, which means finishing the 13th day. On Sizdah Bedar, a picnic lunch is the means of celebration, and the picnics are usually held near bodies of water, so that the children can throw the wheat they've grown for the Haft Seen, into the water. This is my favorite ritual. The Sabzeh (wheat sprouts) is thrown out, because it is supposed to have absorbed the family's bad luck for the new year. A 'throw your troubles away' gesture. If you don't throw yours away, you are keeping your ill fate, and, if you touch another family's Sabzeh, you are inheriting their problems via osmosis. I am not a terribly superstitious person, but, I think I am going to adhere pretty closely to the rules this year.
I still have nearly two weeks, I'll pull it all together by then and let the children have some fun. I'll also commit to a week of Persian baking, which includes the original gluten free cookie recipe, Nan-e Berenji or rice cookies, and Nan-e Nokhochi or chick pea cookies. Zulbia and Bamieh which are fried dough coated in a honey and rose water syrup...my personal favorite, and while not part of a traditional Nowruz, I only do this once a year.
So, wish me luck attempting all of this without a range to cook on, will you?