Amoeblog

Happy نوروز (Nowruz)

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 20, 2009 08:26am | Post a Comment
HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Today, for most observers (but tomorrow for others), is Persian New Year, variously and roughly anglicized as Navrus (Tajikistan), Nawroz (Afghanistan), Nevruz Day (Albania), Nooruz (Iran), Nov Ruz Bairam (Kyrgyzstan), Nauryz Meyrami (Kazakhstan) and Novruz Bayram (Azerbaijan). As with the Lunar New Year, which is often referred to in the media as the "Chinese New Year" (unintentionally marginalizing Koreans, Taiwanese and Vietnamese, who also celebrate the Lunar New Year), Nowroz is often referred to as the Iranian or Persian New Year. In President Obama's Nowruz address, he didn't make that mistake, although he did turn it into a fairly contrived address to the Islamic Republic.


Maz Jorbani on Axis of Evil Comedy Tour

IRAN VS PERSIA

Iran, though related to Persia, is not the same thing. The word Iran comes from Aryānām, literally, "Land of the Aryans." Other Aryan people (who also celebrate Nowruz) include Baloch, Kurds, Lurs, Ossettians, Pashtuns and Zazas. Thus, Nowruz is widely celebrated (in addition to the places already named) in Balochistan, Bosnia, the Caucasus, the Crimea, Iraq, Kashmir, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macedonia, Syria, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The term "Iranian," in contrast to "Persian," includes all people descended from Iran who are just as fully Iranian (at least on paper, though not necessarily in practice) such as Arabs, Armenians, Georgians, Jews and Kazakhs, who are probably less likely to celebrate Nowruz. Though most of Nowruz's celebrants practice Islam, its origins go back much further and the day is especially important to Zoroastrians, as well as Alawites, Alevis, Bahá'í, Ismailis, and other Central Asian people of various faiths. 

Happy Easter!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 23, 2008 12:38pm | Post a Comment
In terms of beloved figures central to Christian children's mythology, the Easter Bunny would probably show up near the top, well below Santa Claus but higher than Jesus, The Sandman and the Tooth Fairy. Actually, I was never too crazy about the Tooth Fairy. What does she does with all those teeth? Why does she buy our silence with micropayments left under our pillows?

    

Questions about the Easter Bunny are less frightening and more practical. How does a rabbit lay eggs? Where does the Easter Bunny live the rest of the year? How does he carry the Easter basket? And perhaps, what does he have to do with Christ Jesus' resurrection (if you're Rod or Tod)?

Of course, like all great holy days, Easter's roots aren't in Christianity. Whereas usually the Churchies change the name of the holiday when moving their religious observance onto its pagan foundation, in this case they left the old name. This could be because Eostre, a goddess of the Angles and Saxons, hadn't been actively worshiped for some time when Jesus' resurrection was being celebrated.