Caesarea4 saidAside from jumping over fires, what is traditional for Nowruz?
Is it common to exchange gifts? (If so, what kind?)
Do you have a spring feast?
Nowruz is celebrated for 13 days...on the fire day thing, called Charshanbeh Souri (Last Wednesday), we jump over fire and play with fire and some people dress up in a black face costume (very much like Santa Clause), etc...these are very old traditions.
Preparation for Nowruz begins with spring cleaning, buying new clothes and setting the Haft Seen, a table containing seven items starting with the letter 'S' — Sabzeh (freshly grown greens), Samanu (sweet wheat paste), Senjed (jujube), Seeb (apple), Seer (garlic), Somagh (sumac) and Serkeh (vinegar).
The Sabzeh (the grown greens) keeps growing until a big picnic which happens on the 13th day of the New Year...this is supposably meaning that all the evil spirits have grown and on that day, we throw out the plant so the house is clean, etc.
As far as gifts go, we exchange money, not gifts usually. Like today, I got close to $200 from my parents
The money, or eidi, is usually given from older relatives to younger ones...like if I go over my uncle's house, he has to give me and my siblings money - and the same goes for all extended family.