Have a Green and Joyful Sizdah Bedar (Persian New Year)

 Joyful Sizdah Bedar (Persian New Year) foodIf you are Iranian, now is the time to celebrate the Spring holiday. Make the green holiday, greener. [image via: Hamed Saber]

Spring is celebrated as a time of renewal and regrowth among many religions and cultures that originated in the Middle East.  The Christian holiday, Easter, coincides with spring, as does the Jewish liberation holiday, Passover. The Persian New Year holiday, Sizdah Bedar (or, the Festival of Joy and Solidarity), takes places tomorrow and also celebrates the joyous coming of spring.

The holiday, which is marked on the 13th of Farvardin (or, the last day of the Nowruz New Year period), is traditionally spent outdoors with family.  Modern celebrations of the holiday include going to parks, having picnics, and throwing sabzeh (or sprouts that people start growing at the beginning of Nowruz) into a river.  This act is meant to symbolize the cycle of life.

The holiday sounds very green already, but here are some ways to make your Sizdah Bedar celebrations a little greener:

Prepare a feast of organic and local (mostly vegetarian) foods to enjoy at your picnic.  Eating these types of foods encourages sustainability, which boosts a longer cycle of our earth’s life.

Use non-disposable or biodegradable serving dishes, plates, and silverware at your picnic.

Walk to your picnic instead of driving.  If you must drive, try to carpool with other people.

Throw only biodegradable items into the river.  Some people throw items such as coins into nearby rivers – try to avoid this practice and perform the ritual in an ecologically friendly way.

Read more about eco rites of spring:
Iran’s New Year “Nowruz” An Ecological Bridge to Connect the Middle East?
Eco Rabbi Explores Passover Cleaning As A Good Opportunity to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
10 Tips for Greening Your Passover (Pesach) 2010

About Karen Chernick

Much to the disappointment of her Moroccan grandmother, Karen became a vegetarian at the age of seven because of a heartfelt respect for other forms of life. She also began her journey to understand her surroundings and her impact on the environment. She even starting an elementary school Ecology Club and an environmental newsletter in the 3rd grade. (The proceeds of the newsletter went to non-profit environmental organizations, of course.) She now studies in New York. Karen can be reached at karen (at) greenprophet (dot) com.

2 thoughts on “Have a Green and Joyful Sizdah Bedar (Persian New Year)

  1. Tinamarie Bernard Eshel

    Oh, it sounds like a wonderful experience. I hope you'll share recipes in future columns, or perhaps suggest links to some. I'm a fan of trying different cuisines, and love when my palate is surprised!

    Reply
  2. Karin Kloosterman

    It looks like the origins of this holiday started in Iran and it's linked to April Fool's Day, today. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:Traditionally, people play jokes on each other on this day. It is believed to be the oldest prank-tradition in the world still alive today, which has led many to believe that the origins of the April Fools Day goes back to this tradition which is believed to have been celebrated by Persians as far back as 536 BC.

    Reply

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