Palo Alto High School's News and Features Publication

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Welcoming spring: Bay Area foundation celebrates Nowruz

Kensie Pao
CAPTURING CELEBRATION — Two friends pose for a picture in front of the haft-sin at the festival. The festival draws in hundreds of people every year. “This event [Nowruz festival and bazaar] happens every year,” event coordinator Gita Meshkat said. “This is like our Christmas.”

The hum of a violin plays as drums beat in the background. People in the audience clap along to the beat and one by one, they stand up and start dancing by the stage. At the entrance, the faint smell of kabob and rice becomes stronger. People flood out of the exit with their arms full of sweets and flowers, eager to celebrate Nowruz. 

Nowruz, or “New Day” in Farsi, is a Persian holiday that falls on the spring equinox. This year, Nowruz was celebrated on March 19. 

In an effort to spread Persian culture in the Bay Area, the Iranian Scholarship Foundation held a Nowruz festival at the San Jose City Hall on March 10.

“It’s a cultural event,” said Gita Meshkat, the coordinator of the Nowruz Bazaar and Festival. “We want to show the new generation the culture and what the Persian New Year is like.”

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Here, dozens of Bay Area residents can purchase Nowruz celebration goods, dance to classic Iranian music and eat traditional foods. A couple more Persian traditions include collecting elements of half-sin spreads, admiring the Amu Nowruz figure and greeting old friends. Because Nowruz embraces a countless number of Persian traditions, not all were able to be featured here. Verde visited this event to learn more about Nowruz.