Kosa and Kecel, the traditional characters of the holiday of Novruz in Azerbaijan. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

20 March 2016, 15:02

Festivities on the occasion of Novruz Bayram are held in Azerbaijan (+video)

Residents of Azerbaijan are celebrating Novruz Bayram, the holiday of spring and awakening of nature, the history of which has more than three thousand years, with traditional feasts and tablefuls.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the celebration of Novruz Bayram will last until March 27. Within the year, the expenses Azerbaijanis' on holiday tablefuls went up by 38%. Many Baku residents decided not to spend this year's traditional vacations abroad, because of the devaluation of the national currency – the manat.

The rituals of the Novruz Bayram reflect the elements, from which, according to ancient beliefs of the East, the human created, – Fire, Water, Earth and Air. One of the main attributes of Novruz is a fire, jumping over which people are clearing themselves of all the wrong accumulated or committed for the past year. They light candles in memory of the deceased; there is also a tradition of reconciliation of all those in quarrel.

In Azerbaijan, all the days preceding the holiday are devoted to a thorough house cleaning and cooking holiday meals.

The main dish on the holiday table is the festive pilaf. Also, they decorate the table with a mirror, candles and coloured boiled eggs. The "Semeni" – the wheat grains sprouted in a plate – is a mandatory meal of the festival, Professor Rafael Guseinov wrote in his article published in the IRS magazine.

It is also customary to bestow people with festive "share" (Novruz paiyy). A tray is stacked with festive goodies and candles, and sent to neighbours and friends.

The Novruz Bayram is a holiday of the New Year under the astronomical solar calendar of Iranian and Turkic peoples. In September 2009, it was included into the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of the UNESCO.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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