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