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    Iranians celebrate the New Year

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    PressTV

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    The beginning of the Persian New Year; Nowruz or the New Day is the first day of the Iranian month of Farvardin on the Persian calendar, which usually falls on March 20. The day is also the first day of spring. Nowruz is one of the oldest and most cherished festivities, which has been celebrated for at least 3,000 years. People in Iran celebrate Nowruz by visiting their elders and loved ones; going on trips is quite popular on the occasion. Days before Nowrooz people prepare for the happy turn of the year by cleaning their houses, buying new clothes and beautifying the city. During Nowruz, Iranians set the Haft Seen as an expression of their traditional, spiritual, and social values. Haft Seen is a table containing seven items starting with the phonemic Farsi equivalent of the English letter 'S' or 'Seen.' Sabzeh (freshly grown greens), Samanu (sweet wheat paste), Senjed (jujube), Seeb (apple), Seer (garlic), Somagh (sumac), and Sekeh (coin), are among items that begin with the Farsi letter Seen. The items are believed to bring health, love, beauty and fertility in the coming year. Nowruz holidays continue for 13 days; People go to parks and spend a day outdoors on the last day, which is called Sizdah Bedar or The Thirteen Day Out. The day is also celebrated as the nature day which draws public attention towards the beauty of nature as a divine gift to mankind. In 2010 UNESCO recognized the International Day of Nowruz as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Persian Origin, and the festivities are now celebrated in many countries even as far as the United States and Canada.