Celebration Navroz – New Year, birthday of Imam Hazrat Ali, Newruz Sultan What A cross-cultural celebration of the New Year, the first day of the Spring astrological Equinox, solar birthday anniversary of our Imam Ali hence the name Nevruz Sultan, in Turkey Nauruz-i Sultani. “It was on Navroz that Adam was created, that God made a covenant with the souls, that Abraham destroyed the pagan idols, that the Prophet of Islam received first revelation, that the Prophet took Ali on his shoulders to smash 360 idols in Mecca, and most important of all, that he declared Ali as his legitimate successor.” – Imam Jafar Sadiq quoted in Bihar al-Anwar Why Navroz, Nouruz, Nevruz is a compound word meaning new day or new light. Nava is Persian for new. Roz means day. The original meaning of the word, was light, when the sun comes up. Roz is derived from Avestan rowch, and is related to Sanskrit ruci, Latin lux, Armenian luys and, in English light. This global celebration of the first day of the vernal equinox is a tradition that started in ancient times and is carried on to date with vibrant rejoicing for the new year and its promise. In the Ismaili Muslim tradition, this is also a celebration of the soul’s journey to its Creator, enlightened by the Guide, Sultan, a spiritual springtime where renewal is carried out by a spring cleaning in the spiritual and earthly world, the Din and Duniya. When Navroz falls on the first day of the month of Farvardin, the first month of the Persian calendar which equates to March 21 on the Gregorian calendar. Imam Ali was born on Friday March 21, 600 A.D. on the solar calendar and for Muslims, this is of immense import and most Sufi orders trace their lineage back to Imam Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu Talib (a.s) and that is why the greeting “Sultan Nevruz” is exchanged on this occasion, Sultan – King. Where Over 50 countries around the world where Persians, Zoroastrians, Ismailis, Turks and Parsis live take part in this major event in any culture influenced by the Persian Empire and its peoples around the world. Recently, President Obama and his Cabinet honored Navroz by issuing a Video and a White House Press Release Governmental greetings to the peoples who celebrate this event globally. The Canadian parliament by unanimous consent, has passed a bill to add Nowruz to the national calendar of Canada, on March 30, 2009. Persian music and New Year traditions have been registered on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in September 2009. View more info on links below. History Navroz is an ancient celebration credited to Prophet Zoroaster and marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the Iranian year. The term Norouz first appeared in Persian records in the second century AD, but it was also an important day during the Achaemenid times (648-330 BC), where kings from different nations under Persian empire used to bring gifts to the emperor (Shahanshah) of Persia on Norouz. This tradition was followed by King Jamshed and has survived over the years. Navroz has been an important event in Ismaili history since it marked the birth of Imam Hazrat Ali. Salman Al-Fars, Farsi (Salman the Persian) was a disciple of the Prophet when Islam was just born. Salman became a Muslim on the day of Navroz and would bring gifts to the Prophet and the Imam and they would celebrate Navroz. Imam Hussain’s wife, Hazrat Sheher Banu was the daughter of the emperor of Iran and the Ahl-e-Bait (people of the house of the Prophet) used to celebrate Navroz with sweets prepared at home. During the time of the Fatimid Caliphs, Navroz was a national holiday. The city of Cairo and Alexandria would be lighted with lamps (chiraag), again the light motif, at the time of Imam Muiz. People celebrated Navroz due to the Farman or order of Imam and on that day they dressed in shiny and bright clothing, denoting light in their hearts, to express their happiness at a new beginning and their spiritual journey. They went boating on the River Nile and had picnics. During the Alamut period in Iran, the Imam gave Didaar and distributed wheat, misry (sugar cubes) and dry fruits (miveh) to the farmers, which is distributed today as Rozi, again light! and the Imam would pray for their good health and worldly and spiritual progress. The 46th Imam Hasan Ali Shah migrated to India from Mahallat, Iran. On the day of Navroz He used to shower titles, gifts and prayers upon the leaders and the Jamat. Today, Navroz is celebrated in the Jamat Khana with special prayers and rejoicing including mehndi application, sherbet – a milk and sugar drink infused with nuts and basil seeds and feasts of safron rice, Biriyani. More Info Please visit the Present Imam’s birthday celebrations, past Navroz pages, Imam Hazrat Ali pages, and History of the Imams listed on the links below.