The City of West Hollywood is celebrating Nowruz during the month of March, in recognition of Persian New Year. Nowruz, which translates into “new day” in Farsi, originated in ancient Persia, more than 3,000 years ago. It marks the traditional Iranian New Year, which begins on the vernal equinox and celebrates the arrival of spring. It is a 13-day celebration that, this year, starts on March 20, 2023 at 2:24 p.m. (PDT).
In recognition of Nowruz/Persian New Year, the City of West Hollywood will light West Hollywood City Hall from March 19, 2023 through March 22, 2023 in the colors of the Iranian flag: green, white, and red. The colors of the flag are traditional and can be interpreted as representing the Islamic religion (green), peace (white), and courage (red).
The City of West Hollywood, in partnership with the Iranian American Women Foundation, will host the Persian New Year event on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. All are welcome to this all-inclusive celebration, which will feature poetry, a typical Nowruz table setup, and a musical performance. Attendance is free; RSVP is required via Eventbrite at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nowruz-a-persian-new-year-celebration-rsvp-required-tickets-567013200747.
Limited validated parking will be available at the adjacent five-story structure.
As part the celebration, space is set aside for a “haft-seen,” which is a collection of at least seven items that start with the letter ‘s’ in addition to other items that each symbolize a different hope for the new year, such as lotus tree fruit for love, candles for enlightenment, apples for beauty, and vinegar for patience and wisdom. These traditions focus on community, family, and starting anew with a blank slate.
Nowruz is a secular holiday that is celebrated by more than 300 million people around the world of various ethnic groups and diverse communities including those with Baha’i, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Zoroastrian, and nonreligious backgrounds. Nowruz symbolizes a time of renewal and commitment to community, heralds the arrival of the new year as it ushers out the hardships of the previous seasons and brings hope for the future. Nowruz plays a significant role in strengthening the ties among peoples based on mutual respect and the ideals of peace, generosity, and good neighborliness. Its traditions and rituals reflect the cultural and ancient customs of the civilizations of the East and West, which influenced those civilizations through the interchange of human values.
Nowruz is also considered the most important holiday in Iran, as it is the official New Year of the country, lasting for 13 days, during which most national functions, including schools, are closed and festivities take place.