Irreversible determination of Iranians

March 15, 2011 - 0:0

Noruz is a strong testimony to Iranian rich civilization, national characteristics and history. It proves how a nation with its irreversible determination to endure, and even flourish, through periods of devastation, political chaos, hardship and oppression. It is a story that stretches far back in time, yet even as you read this, that story is still being written.

For centuries, Persians have applied the Noruz spirit to every dark challenge that has come their way. This spirit has made Noruz far more than just a New Year celebration over the course of history.
It is not known exactly when and how the festival of Noruz emerged in ancient Persia, and historians express different views concerning its historical background, although it seems that Iranians have always celebrated Noruz.
The Murawij-uz-Zahab says that during the reign of Jamshid, a legendary king of Persia, a typhoon lasting three years struck the land. At the beginning of spring, the typhoon gradually subsided. The people celebrated a great feast called “Noruz” after the devastating typhoon subsided, and at the end of the long winter, people came out from their caves and shelters to celebrate spring.
The great Iranian epic poet Abulqasem Ferdowsi in his masterpiece the Shahnameh, as well as Abu Raihan Biruni, and celebrated Persian poet Hakim Omar Khayyam in his book Noruznameh along with many other classical scholars and Iranian poets have attributed the Noruz festival to the Iranian king Jamshid.
As Ferdowsi turned that into verse:
On Jamshid as the people jewels streamed.
They cried upon him that New Year beamed.
On Farvardin Hormuz in this bright New Year.
Bodies were freed from pain all hearts from fear.
New Year new king the world thus rendered bright.
He sat resplendent on the throne in light.
The oldest archaeological record for the Noruz celebration comes from the Achaemenid period over 2500 years ago. They created the first major empire in the region and built the Persepolis complex in southern Iran. This magnificent palace/temple complex was destroyed by Alexander the Great.
Throughout their often stormy history, Persians have endured hard times of civil wars, devastations, and political chaos. They have celebrated the height of human civilization and scientific and military achievements through the spirit of Noruz. Such a unifying spirit has often made Noruz the target of much animosity by foreign invaders and anti­national forces throughout the history of Iran.
Noruz, symbol of social justice
Spring, Farvardin, and Noruz are symbolic manifestations of the efforts to reestablish social justice for Iranians, who have always been leaders in the struggle for human rights, as the great Persian civilization clearly shows.
One of the reasons Iranians enthusiastically embraced Islam was that they were seeking social justice for a long period and the great Iranian Empire could not ignore the splendid slogans such as “brotherhood and equality”, which were proclaimed by the army of Islam. Many different researchers, both Eastern and Western, as well as prominent Persian and Arab scholars, have embarked on extensive surveys of the festival and Iranians’ relentless advocacy of social justice.
During the first two centuries of Islam in Persia, the festivities were not observed with much earnest due to sociopolitical transformation. Gradually, greedy Omayyad caliphs, intending to boost their income through gifts, revived the custom. Nonetheless, Iranians have always been enthusiastic about preserving this custom, especially when they were under foreign domination.
Omayyad rulers, known for their tribal fanaticism, left no stone unturned to annihilate the traditions and cultural heritage of conquered lands.
According to the historian George Zeidan, Persians would pay 5,000 to 10,000 silver coins for permission to celebrate Noruz during the reign of the Omayyads. Iranians made strenuous efforts to celebrate the occasion even though they had to pay a high price. Omayyad rulers greedy for wealth and power sought to strengthen their hegemony, apparently only resorting to Islam as a shield to protect their interests.
The festival was so glorious and sacred that even the most ruthless rulers used to grant general amnesty to captives and prisoners. The dignity of Noruz is captured as Ahura Mazda on its splendid glory says: “On the day of Farvardin, even the infernal-dwellers return to this world to visit their families.