#1 Best Guide: Nowruz Festival In Turkey

Nowruz Festival In Turkey

Searching about the Nowruz Festival? If learning about Turkish culture and traditions is your thing, this celebration needs to be at the very top of your bucket list! I mean… can you even call yourself a true traveler if you haven’t experienced this wild “new day” party?

In this guide, I’ll give you the full lowdown on the fascinating history behind the Nowruz festivities, where to catch the biggest blowout parties and events across Turkey, all the iconic traditions to look out for, plus insider tips to make your experience even more authentic. I’ll also share a useful greeting in the Turkish language to truly help you usher in the spring equinox in style!

Traditional Food And Table Setting On Persian New Year

What Is The Nowruz Festival About?

In Farsi, “Nowruz” literally translates to “new day” and that’s exactly what this festival celebrates: the arrival of a brand new year and the first day of spring! Talk about a fresh start, am I right?

Historically speaking, Nowruz dates all the way back over 3,000 years to the ancient Persian empire. Over the centuries, it spread far and wide, becoming the biggest annual celebration across the Middle East, Central Asia, the Balkans, parts of Africa and even into South Asia.

For many cultures involved, Nowruz marks two major milestones – the vernal equinox in the spring, when the days finally start getting longer, and the first day of the new year according to the solar calendar. So you’re really getting two parties rolled into one!

Why Are the Nowruz Celebrations Important?

See, Nowruz comes from the ultra-old school Zoroastrian religion that was the main jam in Persia before Islam and Christianity came onto the scene. And in Zoroastrian beliefs, the arrival of spring isn’t just about defrosting from winter – it represents the cosmic battle of good triumphing over evil.

According to the old stories, there’s also this being called the “Spirit of Noon,” who gets forced underground by the brutal “Spirit of Winter” during the cold months. But once the spring equinox hits, it’s like the good guy breaks free and spreads their warm, life-giving energy again. The big Nowruz party we see is literally a celebration of light overcoming darkness.

Even if you’re not into all the spiritual metaphors, Nowruz is still important for Turkish people because it’s a powerful reminder that periods of difficulty and hardship are never permanent. Just like how spring always returns to melt away winter, tough times eventually give way to renewals, rebirths, and fresh opportunities.

When Is The Nowruz Celebration In Turkey?

Nowruz in Turkey is celebrated around the spring equinox, which usually falls on March 20th or 21st each year. This is the day when night and day are equal lengths, marking the official start of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Nowruz festivities traditionally last for 13 days, kicking off on the equinox date. So, if you want to experience the full Nowruz celebration in Turkey, plan your visit anytime in late March to early April to catch the height of the events and activities.

Many of the biggest parades, concerts, festivals, and gatherings take place on the actual equinox day and the few days immediately following. However, Nowruz events take place across the country for the full two weeks as people come together to welcome the new season.

Nowruz or Novruz Holiday

What Are The Nowruz Traditions And Rituals?

Winter Farewell

People gather small sticks and branches to build bonfires outside. As night falls, families and friends jump over the flames one by one. This simple act represents purification and welcoming new energy.

You’ll also hear lots of noise – firecrackers popping, pots and pans being banged together. The idea is to make as much commotion as possible to scare away any bad spirits lingering from winter.

While jumping over fires, people snack on dried fruits and nuts like mulberries, apricots, pistachios, and walnuts. Hot tea is also shared among those bundled up around the bonfires.

Preparation For The Haft Seen Table

One of the most iconic Nowruz traditions is setting up the Haft Seen table. This is a decorative spread featuring seven specific items that start with the Persian letter “seen” (which sounds like “seen” in English).

The seven symbolic items typically included are:

  • Sebzeh – Lentil, wheat, or barley sprouts, representing rebirth
  • Seer – Garlic, representing good health
  • Seeb – Apples, representing beauty and health
  • Somaq – Sumac berries, representing the color of sunrise
  • Senjid – Dried oleaster, representing love
  • Serkeh – Vinegar, representing patience and age
  • Samanu – A sweet pudding, representing affluence

Display Of Religious Items

Alright, so we’ve covered the feasting, dancing, and wildly jumping over bonfires that make Nowruz an epic celebration. But for many Turkish families, the holiday also has a deeply spiritual side. This shines through in the carefully curated display of religious symbols and objects that adorn the Haft Seen table.

For Muslim households, you’ll usually find the holy Quran placed front and center, keeping the faith present during this auspicious fresh start. Poetry collections by revered writers like Hafiz and Rumi might make an appearance too, since their wise words are reminders to reflect inwardly.

Speaking of self-reflection, that’s exactly what a mirror on the table prompts – some meaningful contemplation as you gaze at your own face welcoming the new year. Candles bring another layer of light and happiness into the mix.

But it’s not all about Islam.

The table also features some glam ancient Persian elements like intricately decorated eggs, symbolizing fertility and renewal, and a goldfish bowl with live fishies swimming around.

How To Say Happy Nowruz In Turkish?

If you want to wish someone a Happy Nowruz in Turkish, you’ll say: “Nevruz bayraminiz kutlu olsun.” Here’s the breakdown for each word:

  • Nevruz bayramı – Nowruz festival/celebration
  • -nız – your
  • kutlu olsun – may it be blessed/celebrated

So, putting it all together, “Nevruz bayramınız kutlu olsun” literally means “May your Nowruz be celebrated.” Nail that phrase, and you’ll be spreading festive cheer like a local!

When someone wishes you a blessed Nowruz, you can casually say:

  • Teşekkürler – Thanks
  • Sizin de nevruzunuz kutlu olsun – May your Nowruz also be blessed/celebrated

Ready To Celebrate Nowruz In Turkey This Year?

Once the Nowruz parties wrap up and you catch your breath, do yourself a favor and download the Ling app. Ling is simply the best guide to deeper Turkish language, traditions, and customs.

Sure, you’ll learn all the proper grammar and vocabulary to speak like a local. But that’s just the start. Ling also breaks down fascinating cultural insights to give you real understanding behind the words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.