Nowrooz, a Persian New Year Celebration, Erupts in Iran
16-Mar-2010 (2 comments)

For days, state-run television in Iran declared that, for their own safety, citizens should stay home and keep children indoors on the evening of March 16. And indeed, the streets of Iran did erupt into flames. But the opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not organize it. Tuesday evening was the beginning of Nowrooz, the two-week-long traditional Iranian New Year celebration, which for more than three millenniums marked the beginning of spring in the Persian world. The popular holiday, celebrated with bonfires and, more recently, illegal fireworks, is so hoary it predates the three Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - a fact that the mullahs who rule Iran are quite sensitive about. One ayatullah, Nasser Makarem Shirazi, called the first day of Nowrooz a "superstitious act and baseless. Pious and sensible Muslims will stay away from it."

From the time the sun set Tuesday evening, Tehran was filled with the sounds of small explosions and the smell of smoke. Police and Basij militia presence throughout the city was as high as it has been at any point since last year's controversial presidential election, but for the most part, the law-enforcement officers remained cool, with some officers even joining crowds around bonfires and chatting with the attendees. Some small scuffles broke out when Basij arrived to break up impromptu block parties. (See pictures of Iran's antigovernment demonstrations.)

The explosions continued well past m... >>>


4shanbe suri goes on

by azadi5 on

No one can kill a tradition like 4 shanbe suri in Iran, not Islam, not the mullas, and not any other evil forces.





an Iranian new year celebration.