Newroz or Nawroz refers to the traditional New Year celebration Iranian in culture Kurdish. Before the Islamization of Iranian peoples in Asia, the ancestors of Kurds were followers of Zoroastrianism. In Zoroastrian doctrine, fire is a symbol of vision, goodness and purification. Angra Mainyu, the demonic spirit opposed to the god Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism, was challenged annually by a great fire by the Zoroastrians.
In the legend Kurdish, the holiday celebrates the deliverance of the Kurds from the tyrant Dehak and is seen as another way of demonstrating support for the Kurdish cause. The celebration of Newroz – celebrated for at least 3,000 years and deeply rooted among the rituals and traditions of Zoroastrianism – coincides with the March equinox, which generally falls on March 21 and usually runs from March 18 to 24.
The festival occupies an important place in terms of Kurdish identity for the majority of Kurds. The Kurds are gathering to welcome the coming of spring. they wear colorful clothes and dance together.
here is the myth Nawroz among the Kurds:
Long ago, between the great rivers Euphrates and Tigris, there was a land called the Mesopotamia. Above a small town in Mesopotamia, on the side of the Zagros Mountains, there was a huge stone castle with tall turrets and high dark walls.
The castle was hewn from the rock of the mountain. The castle gates were made from cedar wood and carved in the shape of winged warriors. Deep in the castle lived a cruel Assyrian king called Dehak. His armies terrorized everyone in the land, while all was well before Dehak's reign in Mesopotamia.
The previous kings had been kind and kind and encouraged the people to irrigate the land and keep their fields fertile. They ate foods consisting only of bread, herbs, fruits and nuts. It was during the reign of a king named Jemshid that things started to go wrong. He believed himself above the Sun Gods and began to lose favor with his people. A spirit called Ahriman the Evil, seized the opportunity to take control.
He chose Dehak to take the throne, who then killed Jemshid and cut him in half. The evil spirit, disguised as a cook, fed Dehak blood and animal flesh and one day, as Dehak complimented him on his meat dishes, he thanked him and asked him to kiss the king's shoulders. As he kissed Dehak's shoulders, there was a great flash of light and two giant black snakes emerge from either side of his shoulders. Dehak was terrified and tried everything to get rid of him.
Ahriman the Evil disguised himself again, this time as a doctor and told Dehak that he could never get rid of the snakes and that when the snakes were hungry Dehak would experience terrible pain, which would only be relieved when the snakes were hungry. snakes would be fed with the brains of young children. So from that dark day, two children were chosen from the towns and villages that were under the castle.
They were killed and their brains were taken to the gates of the castle and placed in a large bucket made of walnut wood and held firmly by three thin bands of gold. The brains bucket was then lifted by two strong guards and taken to the evil Dehak and the brains were devoured by the hungry snakes. Since the Serpent King began his reign over the kingdom, the sun has refused to shine.
The crops, trees and flowers of the peasants began to wither. The giant watermelons that had grown there for centuries rotted on their feet. The peacocks and partridges strutting around the giant pomegranates were gone. Even the eagles that had flown high in the mountain winds were gone. Now everything was cold and dark. The locals were very sad.
Everyone was terrified of Dehak. They sang sad and painful laments which expressed their pain and distress. And the haunting sound of a long wooden flute still echoed in the valleys. Under the king's castle lived a blacksmith who made horseshoes for the famous wild horses of Mesopotamia and cauldrons and pots for the townspeople. His name was Kawa. He and his wife were weakened with grief and hated Dehak as he had already taken 16 of their 17 children.
Every day, sweating out of the oven, Kawa hit his hammer on the anvil and dreamed of getting rid of the evil king. And as it struck the red hot metal, harder and harder, the red and yellow sparks flew across the dark sky like fireworks and could be seen for miles around. One day the order came from the castle that Kawa's last daughter was to be killed and her brain was to be brought to the castle gate the next day. Kawa spent the whole night on the roof of her house, under the bright stars and the rays of the full moon, thinking how to save her youngest daughter from the snakes of Dehak.
As a shooting star glided across the night sky, he had an idea. The next morning he rode on his horse's back, slowly pulling the heavy iron cart with two metal buckets rattling on its back. The cart climbed the steep paved road and arrived outside the castle. He nervously emptied the contents of the metal buckets into the large wooden bucket outside the huge castle doors. As he turned to leave, he heard the doors unlock, shake and slowly creak.
He took one last look and hurried away. The wooden bucket was then slowly lifted by two guards and taken into the castle. The brains were being given to the two hungry giant snakes that had grown on Dehak's shoulders. When Kawa returned home, he found his wife kneeling in front of a roaring log fire. He knelt down and gently lifted his large velvet coat.
There, under the cloak, was their daughter. Kawa swept her long, thick black hair from her face and kissed her warm cheek. Instead of sacrificing his own daughter, Kawa sacrificed a sheep and put her brain in the wooden bucket.
And no one had noticed it. Soon everyone in town learned of Kawa's mischief. So when Dehak asked them for a child sacrifice, they all did the same. Thus, hundreds of children were saved. So all the saved children went, in the dark, to the highest and most distant mountains where no one would find them. Here, in the heights of the Zagros mountains, children have grown up in freedom.
They have learned to survive on their own. They learned to ride horses, to hunt, to fish, to sing and to dance. From Kawa, they learned to fight. One day they would return to their homeland and save their people from the tyrant king. Time passed and Kawa's army was ready to begin their march on the castle. Along the way, they passed through villages and hamlets.
Dogs in the villages barked and people came out of their homes to encourage them and give them bread, water, yogurt and olives. As Kawa and the children approached Dehak Castle, the men and women left their fields to join them.
As they approached the castle, Kawa's army numbered several thousand. They stopped in front of the castle and turned to Kawa. Kawa was standing on a rock. He was wearing his blacksmith's apron and holding his hammer in his hand. He turned and faced the castle and raised his hammer towards the castle gates. The crowd swarmed forward and stormed the castle gates, which were shaped like winged warriors and quickly overtook Dehak's men.
Kawa rushed straight into Dehak's room, descended the winding stone stairs and, with his blacksmith's hammer, killed the evil Serpent King and severed his head. The two snakes withered. He then climbed to the top of the mountain above the castle and lit a large bonfire to tell everyone in Mesopotamia that they were free.
Soon hundreds of fires were lit across the land to spread the message and the flames rose high into the night sky, illuminating it and purifying the air of the smell of Dehak and his evil deeds. The darkness was gone. With the light of dawn, the sun came from behind the dark clouds and warmed the mountainous land once more. The flowers slowly began to open and the fig tree buds burst into bloom.
The watermelons began to grow again, as they had done for centuries before. The eagles returned and flew on the warm winds between the mountain peaks. The peacocks fanned their magnificent plumes that sparkled in the hot spring sun. Wild horses with long black manes galloped across the flat, dusty plains.
The partridges perched and sang on the branches of the pear trees. Little children ate ripe nuts wrapped in fresh figs, and the smell of bread freshly baked in stone ovens reached their noses with the help of a light breeze. The fires were burning higher and higher and people were singing and dancing in circles, holding hands with shoulders rising and falling to the rhythm of the flute and drum.
The women in brightly colored sequined dresses sang love songs and the men responded by moving around the flames as one man. A few of them hovered above the flute, drunk to the sound of the music, their arms outstretched like eagles soaring in the sky. Now they were free.
Until this day, on the same spring day of each year, March 21 (which is also the spring equinox), Kurds, Persians, Afghans and other Middle Eastern people dance and jump over the flames to remember Kawa and freedom from tyranny and oppression and to celebrate the coming of the new year. This day is called Newroz or New Day.
It is one of the rare “popular festivals” which has survived and precedes all the major religious festivals. Although celebrated by others, it is especially important for Kurds as it also marks the start of the Kurdish calendar and celebrates the Kurds' long struggle for freedom.