Did you know that the Persian new year, Nowruz, is celebrated on March 21? I have only known for the last two years, because our Nilgoun is from Iran and this year, too, she had the possibility to celebrate the new year with her family, who came to visit.
Nilgoun told me that it is a holiday you celebrate strictly with close family members and that seven food items whose name begins with S in Persian must be arranged on the table for the celebration. They are: wheat/barley/lentil sprouts; a sweet pudding; the dried fruit of the oleaster tree; garlic; apples; sumac berries; vinegar.
“Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox, and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day, depending on where it is observed. The moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year, and Persian families gather together to perform their rituals.
Although having Persian and religious Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethno-linguistic communities for thousands of years. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths and atheists, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians.” (from Wikipedia)