DON”T UNDER ESTIMATE YOUR CELL

29 06 2007

THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW YOUR CELLPHONE COULD DO

There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies.

Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for

survival. Check out the things that you can do

*I*



*
The Emergency Number worldwide for **Mobile** is 112. If you find



yourself out of coverage area of your mobile network and there is an



emergency,
dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to



establish the emergency number for you,
and interestingly this number 112



can be dialed even if the keypad is locked.
**Try it out.**



*II*



*
Subject: Have you locked your keys in the car? Does you car have remote



keys?*



This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone:


If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call



someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone.


Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person



at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on



their end. Your car will unlock.
Saves someone from having to drive your



keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away,



and if you can reach someone who has the other “remote” for your car, you



can unlock the doors (or the trunk).


Editor’s Note:
*It works fine! We tried it out and it unlocked our car



over a cell phone!”*



*III*



Subject: Hidden
Battery power



Imagine your cell battery is
very low , you are expecting an important call



and you don’t have a charger.
Nokia instrument comes with a reserve



battery.
To activate, press the keys *3370# Your cell will restart with



this reserve and the instrument will show a
50% increase in battery. This



reserve will get charged when you charge your cell next time.



AND


*IV*



How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?


To check your Mobile phone’s serial number, key in the following digits on



your phone:


* # 0 6 #


A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your



handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. when your phone get



stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They



will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the



SIM card, your phone will be totally useless.


You probably won’t get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever



stole it can’t use/sell it either.


If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile



phones.


Please spread this useful information around






A POEM TO THINK ABOUT

22 05 2007

They lie on  the table side by side –

The Holy Quran and the TV Guide.

One is well  worn and cherished with pride.

Not the Quran, but the TV Guide.

One is  used daily to help folks decide.

Not the Quran, but the TV Guide.

As the  pages are turned, what shall they see?

Oh, what does it matter, turn on the  TV

So they open the book in which they confide.

No, not the Quran, but the  TV Guide.

The Word of Allah is seldom read.

Maybe a verse before they fall  into bed.

Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be.

Not from reading the  Quran, from watching TV

So then back to the table side by side,

Lie the  Holy Quran and the TV Guide.

No time for prayer, no time for the Word,

The  plan of Istiqama is seldom heard.

But forgiveness of sin, so full and  free,

Is found in the Quran, not on TV





BRAIN-BOOST DRUG’To be common’

17 04 2007

 

Cup of coffee

Could brain-boosting drugs become ‘as common as coffee’?

Healthy people, including children, might one day take drugs to boost their intelligence, scientists predict.The think-tank Foresight, outlined the scenario in an independent report looking at potential developments over the next 20 years.

Such “cognitive enhancers” could become as “common as coffee”, they suggest.

Scientists did not rule out children taking exams facing drug tests, as sportsmen do, to see if any have taken ‘performance enhancing substances’.

The report was compiled by 50 experts, who set out their predictions for the next two decades.

More consideration

Some drugs are already known to aid mental performance.

It’s possible that these new drugs will be the new coffee

Professor Trevor Robbins, University of Cambridge

Ritalin, now prescribed to children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has already been used by some students to improve their performance in exams.

Modafinil, used now to treat sleep disorders, has been shown to help people remember numbers more effectively.

It can also make people think more carefully before making decisions.

There is also a type of molecule called ampakins, which enhance the way some chemical receptors in the brain work, suggesting drugs could be developed to improve people’s memory when they are tired.

The Foresight report states: “In a world that is increasingly non-stop and competitive, the individual’s use of such substances may move from the fringe to the norm, with cognition enhancers used as coffee is today”.

But the availability of such drugs would open up a range of social and ethical questions, including whether it should be permitted for people to use them to gain advantage over others.

How they should be monitored would also be an issue.

Regulation

Scientists said it could raise issues about what substances children undertaking exams could use.

Professor Trevor Robbins, of the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge, who helped compile the report, said: “No one minds very much about people taking vitamins to make them do a little bit better.

“But taking a natural, or unnatural, substance in exams might cause some ethical problems along the lines that we have in sport.”

Professor Gerry Stimson, an expert in the sociology of health behaviour at Imperial College London, who also helped compile the report, said: “Would this be putting people at a fair advantage, or an unfair advantage?

“It is permitted to take drugs for therapeutic reasons, but you would need a regulatory framework for well people.”

But the scientists say the drugs could become commonplace.

Professor Robbins said: “You have to look 20 years into the future.

“It’s possible that these new drugs will be the new coffee, if you like, and taken by a broad range of individuals.”

The report also looks at potential for vaccines against addictions to nicotine or cocaine, which would offer treatments for addicts by blocking the effects of the drug in the body.

It also looked at the potential for drugs to treat or delay the progress of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Sir David King, chief scientific advisor to the government, who oversaw the project, said “By examining challenging issues, such as brain science and addiction, scientists can help inform the government and others by building a strong scientific evidence base.

“This will provide the best platform to help us prepare for the future.”





300 the movie

28 03 2007

Spenta Productions | THE TRUTH BEHIND ‘300’

Cyrus Kar- Spenta Productions For many Iranians the cinematic movie ‘300’ may come as a shocking revelation. But to those of us who came up through America’s school system, the ‘Battle of Thermopylae,’ which is what the movie ‘300’ is based on, is as familiar as George Washington’s fabled “cherry tree” episode.

The Battle of Thermopylae was of course written by the classical Greek author, Herodotus, who lived in the Persian city of Halicarnassus. His book, ‘The Histories’ became part of Western folklore only recently. It was not until about 1850 that America embraced Herodotus as the leading authority on Persian history.

Before 1850, however, the West had a very favorable impression of the Persian Empire. That’s because the West’s main source for Persian history was the Bible and the ‘Cyropaedia,’ written by another Greek author named Xenophon.

But the Cyropaedia glorified the monarchy of Cyrus The Great, and in the wake of two bloody revolutions fought by America and France to liberate themselves from their own monarchies, a major campaign began, around the mid 19th century, to promote democracy throughout the rest of Europe, and Herodotus was the perfect propaganda tool.

Herodotus was a democratic groupie and was quickly ushered in as the “Father Of History.” Around 1850, his ‘Battle Of Thermopylae’ came to symbolize the West’s struggle for democracy against the powerful forces of Persia’s monarchy.

The story is easy to buy into: 300 brave Spartans saved Western democracy from 2.7 million evil Persians. But aside from the fanciful numbers which need decimal-point adjustments, this whimsical tale has far graver consequences than a mere biased account of history.

The ‘Battle Of Thermopylae’ has been the single most powerful wedge, which has divided East and West for over 2 millennia. In a time when East and West should be reconciling their differences, along comes the movie ‘300’ to drive that wedge even deeper.

What is most disturbing about this movie is not that it lacks historical accuracy. It is not that Xerxes, the Grandson of Cyrus The Great and loving husband of Esther, is shown as an oversized drag queen. It is not even the outdated racist cliché of casting the Persians as Africans and the Spartans as white, blue-eyed ‘Chippendale dancers,’ when in reality the roles may well have been reversed.

What is so distressing about this movie is the realization of the tremendous power Hollywood wields in determining a people’s identity. It is the same nightmare Native Americans endured during the whole ‘cowboy-movie’ genre.

But for those who are quick to dismiss ‘300’ as a fleeting fantasy flick aimed at the insignificant, 17 to 24 year-old male video-gamer, think again. First there was Alexander, now ‘300,’ next could well be the ‘Battle Of Marathon,’ another one of Herodotus’s glowing accounts of ancient Persia.

Herodotus is accepted blindly by virtually all Western demographics. Even the New York Times is not immune. Here is how it described the Persians in its April 20, 2004 issue about the Battle Of Marathon:

“the defeat of a ruthless state (Persia) that had enslaved much of the known world from the Balkans to the Himalayas.”

– William J. Broad,    
(NY Times)     

 

Persian Empire Cyrus The Great

“the ancient Greeks defeated the Asian invaders (Persia) and saved Europe in what scholars call one of the first great victories of freedom over tyranny”

– William J. Broad,    
(NY Times)     

What stretches the limits of hypocrisy is that there isn’t a single shred of archeological evidence that the Persians ever owned slaves. Yet we know that slavery was an integral cornerstone of Greek society. Aristotle’s manifesto even sanctions it. Persia, which was once a haven for runaway slaves from Egypt, Greece, and later Rome, is today branded as a slave-hungry empire by cultures which were built on slavery!

What makes Herodotus’s propaganda so difficult to refute is that it is peppered with facts. But in reality, it is a desperate diatribe. Perhaps his biggest ploy is his attempt to equate democracy with freedom. These two words are used virtually interchangeably throughout his book. And the West has swallowed it hook-line-and-sinker.

But America’s founding fathers knew better. They implemented many safeguards to protect freedom from the pitfalls that mired Athenian democracy. Even Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others which have been tried.”

Democracy may well be the best form of government. But what makes America great is not so much democracy, as it is its Bill Of Rights. And this is exactly what made Persia Great. Democracy can often lead to tyranny by the majority as was the case in democratic Athens, where women, slaves and foreigners did not have the right to vote.

In monarchic Persia, however, women enjoyed a level of gender equality unmatched even to this day, and slavery was not practiced. The fact is, Persia’s monarchy was more free than Athens’ democracy, all because of Persia’s Bill Of Rights.

No one exemplifies Persia’s freedom better than Herodotus himself. He describes Athens as the bastion of freedom, yet he chose to live in Persia. Xenophon, on the other hand, who actually lived in Athens, reminisces enviously about the monarchy of Cyrus The Great.

Herodotus claims Persia had enslaved most of the known world, yet we know Herodotus was not a slave. He traveled freely throughout the empire, openly criticizing it.

Why did Herodotus not live in Greece? Because Persia – the empire he is so quick to demonize – afforded him the very freedom to publish his scathing report of it. People want to live where their god-given rights are protected, regardless of whether its democratic or monarchic.

These god-given rights were first drafted into law by the founder of the Persian empire, Cyrus The Great. In fact, ancient Persia may well have served as the blue print for America’s Bill Of Rights. Both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the architects of America’s Constitution, were great admirers and owned several copies of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia.

Today, no other country resembles ancient Persia as closely as does the United States. If any country should sympathize with, rather than celebrate, Persia’s quagmire in Greece, it is the United States. Few events in history mirror America’s war on terror as closely as Persia’s war on Greece.

The Greeks had been carrying out terrorist attacks on Persian holdings for years. They had attacked Persian cities, set fire to Persian temples, disrupted key trade routes, and pirated merchant ships crossing the Bosphorus. They incited rebellions inside Persian provinces, but perhaps most abhorrent to the Persians was the ease by which the Greeks broke their treaties and betrayed Persia’s trust.

Rather than resort to violence, however, Persia tried to keep the Greeks in check by financially supporting Greek politicians who were “pro-Persian,” much the same way America fights its proxy wars. But what finally triggered Persia’s wrath was an act rarely mentioned in the West, though well documented, even by Herodotus (7:11).

Persia’s 9/11:

In 498 BCE, Athens carried out a terrorist attack on Sardis, a major Persian city, which made 9/11 seem like child’s play. Aristagoras, an Athenian, set fire to the “outlying parts” of Sardis trapping most of its population “in a ring of fire.” (Herodotus 5:101)

More innocent civilians died at the hands of Aristagoras than Osama bin Laden could ever hope to kill. And just as most of the world supported America’s retaliation against Al Qaeda, so did it rally in support of Persia’s attack on Athens.

The Spartans were not even targets of Persia’s attack, until they violated a universal protocol by killing a Persian messenger who Herodotus claims was asking for Sparta’s submission but in reality was probably sent by Persia’s king, Xerxes to convey the same message America sent to the entire world after 9/11: “you’re either with us, or against us.”

The Spartans were Greek Jihadists who lived only to die. They were by all accounts ruthless savages who murdered Greek slaves known as “Helots” just for sport, cultivated a culture of thievery and rape, and practiced infanticide, as the movie ‘300’ rightly points out in its opening scenes. Sparta was not even democratic. It was an oligarchy at best. Despite knowing all this, the West continues to hail the Spartans as the saviors of Western democracy.

Yes, the Spartans died fighting a foreign invader. But so do countless terrorists. Yet few would consider them “good guys.” Those who do are then not much different from Westerners who cheer for the Spartans.

Persia was drawn into a protracted war against terror, much the same way the U.S. was. Cheering for the Spartans merely because they were underdogs, is like cheering for Osama bin Laden today.

The Power Of Film:

History is no longer written by the victors, it is written by filmmakers. Most minority groups in America have come to realize this fact and are quick to bankroll films that communicate their stories to the rest of the world. Perhaps the movie ‘300’ was a necessary wake-up call for the Iranian/Persian community to support responsible filmmakers, who report history with honesty and integrity.

Iranians are the most affluent minority group in America. If they set their mind to it, they could set the historical record straight virtually overnight. Until then, their history will be written by the likes of Zack Snyder





نوروز چیست؟ whats norouz?

15 03 2007

نوروز

از ویکی‌پدیا، دانشنامهٔ آزاد.

چیدن سفره هفت سین از آئین‌های نوروزی است.

چیدن سفره هفت سین از آئین‌های نوروزی است.

نوروز، از جشن‌های باستانی ایرانیان است که امروزه در محدوده جغرافیایی ایران زمین یعنی در کشورهای ایران، آذربایجان، افغانستان، تاجیکستان، ترکمنستان، ازبکستان، قرقیزستان، قزاقستان و بخش‌های کردنشین کشورهای عراق و ترکیه و سوريه، در روز ۱ فروردین (۲۱ مارس) هرسال برگزار می‌شود. برگزاری جشن نوروز همچنین در زنگبار واقع در افریقای شرقی که در قدیم سکونتگاه ایرانیان مهاجر بوده رواج دارد.(نگاه کنید به نوشتار: کشور های نوروز)

عده زیادی فرق میان نوروز و لحظهٔ تحویل سال نو را درست نمیدانند. تعریف درست نوروز نخستین روز سال در تقویم ایرانی است یعنی یکم فروردین ماه و یا روز اورمزد از ماه فروردین. لحظهٔ آغاز نوروز درست پس از نیمه شب است و این یک لحظهٔ «تقویمی» است. لحظهٔ تحویل سال یک واقعه یا لحظهٔ «طبیعی» است و زمان آن می‌تواند ساعت‌ها با لحظهٔ آغازین روز یکم فروردین فاصله داشته باشد. بنابراین، لحظهٔ تحویل سال در سراسر جهان یکیست، ولی لحظهٔ آغاز نوروز (یکم فروردین) نسبی است، نسبت به خط استاندارد زمان بین المللی که سابقا به خط «گرینویچ» مشهور بود و هنوز هم اکثر مردم آن را به همین نام میشناسند.

 پیشینه نوروز

به باور زرتشت، ماه فروردین (نخستین ماه گاهشماری خورشیدی ایرانیان) به فره‌وشی (سرزندگی) اشاره دارد به اينكه که دنیای مادی را در آخرین روزهای سال دچار دگرگونی می‌کند. بنابراین، زرتشتیان، ده-روز را برای اینکه روح نیاکان خود را شاد کنند، گرامی می‎دارند. ممکن است این سنت که، برخی پیش از نوروز به گورستانها می‏روند، ریشه در این باور داشته باشد. یک روایت در مورد خاستگاه نوروز این است که در این روز کیاخسرو، پسر پرویز بردینا، به تخت سلطنت نشست و ایرانشهر را به اوج شکوفایی خود رساند.

روایت دیگر این است که در این روز ویژه (یکم فروردین)، جمشید، پادشاه پیشدادی، بر روی تخت طلایی نشسته بود در حالی‏که مردم او را روی شانه‏های خود حمل می‏کردند. آنها پرتوهای خورشید را بر روی پادشاه دیدند و آن روز را جشن گرفتند.

در زمانهای کهن، جشن نوروز در نخستین روز فروردین (۲۱ مارس) آغاز می‏شد، ولی مشخص نیست که چند روز طول می‏کشیده‏است. در بعضی از دربارهای سلطنتی جشن‏ها یک ماه ادامه داشت. مطابق برخی از اسناد، جشن عمومی نوروز تا پنجمین روز فروردین برپا می‏شد، و جشن خاص نوروز تا آخر ماه ادامه داشت. شاید بتوان گفت، در طی پنج روز اول فروردین جشن نوروز جنبه ملی و عمومی بود، در حالیکه طی باقیمانده ماه، هنگامی‏که پادشاهان مردم عادی را به دربار شاهنشاهی می‏پذیرفتند جنبه خصوصی و سلطنتی داشت.

جشن نوروز از آیین‌های باستانی و ملی ایرانیان می‌‌باشد. جزئیات چگونگی این جشن تا پیش از دوره هخامنشیان بر ما پوشیده است. در اوستا نیز هیچ اشاره‌ای به این جشن نشده است. همچنین از دید مذهب و باورهای دینی ایرانیان باستان در ارتباط با این جشن اطلاعاتی در دست نیست. اگرچه مطالبی کلی در تعداد اندکی از کتابهای نوشته شده در روزگار ساسانیان درباره جشن نوروز وجود دارد.

با استناد بر نوشته‌های بابلیها، شاهان هخامنشی در طول جشن نوروز در ایوان کاخ خود نشسته و نمایندگانی را از استان‌های گوناکون که پیشکش‌هایی نفیس همراه خود برای شاهان آورده بودند می‌‌پذیرفتند. گفته شده که داریوش کبیر، یکی از شاهان هخامنشی (۴۲۱ – ۴۸۶)، در آغاز هر سال از پرستشگاه بأل مردوک، که از خدایان بزرگ بابلیان بود دیدن می‌‌کرد.

همچنین پارتیان و ساسانیان همه ساله نوروز را را با برپایی مراسم و تشریفات خاصی جشن می‌‌گرفتند. صبح نوروز شاه جامه ویژه خود را پوشیده و به تنهایی وارد کاخ می‌‌شد. سپس کسی که به خوش قدمی شناخته شده بود وارد می‌‌شد. و سپس والامقام‌ترین موبد در حالی که همراه خود فنجان، حلقه و سکه‌هایی همه از جنس زر، شمشیر، تیر و کمان، قلم، مرکب و گل داشت در حین زمزمه دعا وارد کاخ می‌‌شد. پس از موبد بزرگ ماموران حکومت در صفی منظم وارد کاخ شده و هدایای خود را تقدیم شاه می‌‌کردند. شاه پیشکش‌های نفیس را به خزانه فرستاده و باقی هدایا را میان حاضران پخش می‌‌کرد. ۲۵ روز مانده به نوروز، دوازده ستون با آجرهای گلی در محوطه کاخ برپا شده، و دوازده نوع دانه گیاه مختلف بر بالای هریک از آنها کاشته می‌‌شد. در روز ششم نوروز، گیاهان تازه روییده شده بر بالای ستونها را برداشته و آنها را کف کاخ می‌‌پاشیدند و تا روز ۱۶ فروردین که به آن روز مهر می‌‌گفتند، آنها را برنمی داشتند.

روشن کردن آتش هنگام عصر یکی دیگر از رسومی بود که بین مردم در نوروز عمومیت داشت. ریشه مراسم روشن کردن آتش توسط ایرانیان در آخرین چهارشنبه سال نیز به همین عمل ایرانیان باستان بازمی گردد. ایرانیان باستان به آتش احترام می‌‌گذاشتند. آن زمان عقیده بر این بود که آتش موجب تصفیه هوا می‌شود.

در نخستین بامداد نوروز، مردم روی یکدیگر آب می‌‌پاشیدند. پس از گرویدن به اسلام نیز این رسم بجا مانده است با این تفاوت که به جای آب از گلاب استفاده می‌شود. از دیگر رسوم نوروز، حمام رفتن و هدیه کردن شکر به یکدیگر در روز ششم فروردین بود. و یکی از باشکوه‌ترین سنتها نیز سبز کردن دانه گیاه در یک ظرف است که به آن “سبزه” گویند.

 

آیین‌های نوروزی

از جشن‌های متعددی که در ایران باستان مرسوم بوده، یا از جشن‌های اندکی که از آن عهد به یادگار مانده، هیچ یک به طول و تفصیل نوروز نیست. نوروز جشنی است که یک جشن کوچک‌تر (چهارشنبه سوری) به پیشواز آن می‌آید و جشنی دیگر (سیزده به در) به بدرقه آن. و نماد آن انداختن سفره هفت سين است.

نوروز در گذشته دارای آداب چندی بوده است که امروز تنها برخی از آنها برجای مانده و پاره‌ای در دگرگشت‌های زمانه از بین رفته‌اند. از رسم‌های بجا مانده یکی راه افتادن حاجی فیروز است.

 

خانه تکانی

خانه تکانی از دیگر آئین‌های نوروز است. ده پانزده روز مانده به نوروز (سال نو)خانه تکانی شروع می‌شود. در این آئین، همه وسایل خانه گردگیری و شستشو می‌شود و پاک و پاکیزه می‌گردد.

چنان زوایای خانه را می‌‌روبند که اگر تا یک سال دیگر هم آن زوایا از چشم خانم خانه پنهان بماند یا فرصت پاکیزه سازی آنها به دست نیاید، قابل تحمل باشد.

وسواس برای این پاکیزه سازی تا به حدی است که در و دیوار خانه اگر نه هر سال، هر چند سال یکبار نقاشی می‌شود.

پس از خانه تکانی، نوبت سبزه کاشتن می‌شود. مادران حدود یک هفته مانده به نوروز، مقداری گندم و عدس و ماش و شاهی در ظرف‌هایی زیبا می‌‌ریزند و خیس می‌دهند تا آهسته آهسته بروید و برای سفره نوروزی آماده گردد.

 

 کارت شادباش

کاری که پس از شکل گیری روش‌های جدید ارتباطی مانند نامه‌نگاری، یا شکل جدیدتر آن نامه‌های الکترونیکی رواج یافته، ارسال کارت شادباش است؛ یک هفته پیش از آغاز سال نو، زمان ارسال کارت‌های شادباش فرا می‌رسد، فرستادن کارت شادباش برای همه دوستان و آشنایان، و اقوامی که در دیگر کشورها یا شهرها زندگی می‌کنند، البته کاری پسندیده است، امروزه و بعد از رواج تلفن بیشتر به یک تلفن برای گفتن تبریک سال نو پس از تحویل سال بسنده می‌کنند.

 

دید و بازدید

دید و بازدید رفتن تا پایان روز ۱۲ فروردین ادامه دارد. اما معمولاً در همان صبح نوروز به دیدن اقوام نزدیک، مانند پدر و مادر، پدر بزرگ و مادر بزرگ، پدر و مادر زن یا شوهر، عمه، عمو، خاله، دائی و… می‌‌روند.

روزهای بعد نوبت اقوام دورتر فرا می‌‌رسد و سر فرصت به دیگر اقوام و دوستان سر می‌‌زنند و دیدارها تازه می‌کنند. حتی اگر کسانی در طول سال به علت کدورت‌هایی که پیش آمده از احوال پرسی یکدیگر سر باز زده باشند، این روزها را فرصت مغتنمی برای رفع کدورت می‌‌شمارند و راه آشتی و دوستی در پیش می‌‌گیرند.

 

 مسافرت نوروزی

از آنجا که مدارس در ایام نوروز تا ۱۴ فروردین تعطیل است، فرصت خوبی برای سفر کردن به دست می‌آید. پس گروه کثیری از مردم به شهرهای دیگر و نقاط خوش آب و هوا ی کشور که در ایام نوروز از آب و هوای معتدل برخوردار است، سفر می‌کنند. اما این سفرها نیز خالی از دید و بازدید نیست. مردم به دیدار یکدیگر می‌‌روند و دیگران را به شام و ناهار دعوت می‌کنند. سفرهای زیارتی نیز که از دیرباز مرسوم بوده، همچنان رونق دارد. به این معنی که عده زیادی شب عید به قم یا مشهد می‌‌روند و پس از یکی دو روز به خانه و کاشانه خود باز می‌‌گردند.

 

دیگر آیین ها

آداب و سنن مربوط به نوروز در گذشته بیش از امروز بوده است.

تا چند دهه پیش در برخی نواحی ایران، نوروزی خوانی مرسوم بوده است. در گیلان و مازندران و آذربایجان، از حدود یک ماه پیش از فرارسیدن نوروز، کسانی در روستاها راه می‌افتادند و اشعاری در باره نوروز می‌خواندند. اشعاری که بنا بر تعلقات مذهبی شیعیان با مضامین مذهبی آمیخته بود و ترجیع بند آن چنین بود:

باد بهاران آمده، گل در گلستان آمده / مژده دهید بر دوستان، …

این پیک‌های نوروزی در مقابل نوروزی خوانی از مردم پول یا کالا می‌‌گرفتند و سورسات نوروزی خود را جور می‌‌کردند.

تا چهل پنجاه سال پیش به راه انداختن «میر نوروزی» نیز یکی از آئین‌های رایج بوده است. داستان میر نوروزی این است که در پنج روز آخر سال اداره و فرمانروایی شهر را به فردی از پائین‌ترین قشرهای اجتماعی می‌سپردند و او نیز چند تن از مردم عوام را به عنوان خدم و حشم و عامل خود انتخاب می‌‌کرد و فرمان‌های شداد و غلاظ علیه ثروتمندان و قدرتمندان می‌داد.

آنها نیز در این پنج روز حکم او را کم و بیش مطاع می‌‌دانستند و تنها در موارد پولی به چانه زدن می‌‌پرداختند. پس از آن پنج روز نیز میر نوروزی مطابق سنت از مجازات معاف بود و هیچ کس از او بازخواست نمی‌کرد که چرا در آن مدت پنج روز چنین و چنان کرده است.

حافظ در این بیت به عمر کوتاه آدمی، عمر کوتاه گل و عمر کوتاه سلطنت میر نوروزی اشاره دارد:

سخن در پرده می‌‌گویم چو گل از غنچه بیرون آی که بیش از پنج روزی نیست حکم میر نوروزی




What is Norouz(or noroz)?

15 03 2007

Norouz (Persian: نوروز‎ ) is the traditional Iranian new year holiday in Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Albania, Georgia, various countries of Central Asia such as Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, as well as among the Iranian peoples everywhere. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday, it is also a holy day for adherents of Sufism as well as Bahá’í Faith [1]. In Iran it is also referred to as an Eid festival, although it is not an Islamic feast. For Isma’ilis Navroz celebrates the birthday of Ali (Ali Ibn Talib), and is also celebrated as the new year festival due to the group being of Persian origin.

Norouz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the Iranian year as well as the beginning of the Bahá’í year [2]. It is celebrated by some communities on March 21st and by others on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (start of spring), which may occur on March 20th, 21st or 22nd.

Etymology

The word comes from the Old Persian: nava=new + rəzaŋh=day/daylight, meaning “new day/daylight”, and still has the same meaning in the modern Persian (no=new + rouz=day; meaning “new day”)[citation needed].The term Norouz first appeared in Persian records in the second century AD, but it was also an important day during the Achaemenid times (c. 648-330 AD), where kings from different nations under Persian empire used to bring gifts to the emperor (Shahanshah) of Persia on Norouz

History and Tradition

Tradition dates Noruz as far back as 15,000 years ago — before the last ice age. The mythical Persian King Jamshid (Yima or Yama of the Indo-Iranian lore) symbolizes the transition of the Indo-Iranians from animal hunting to animal husbandry and a more settled life in human history. Seasons played a vital part then. Everything depended on the four seasons. After a severe winter, the beginning of spring was a great occasion with mother nature rising up in a green robe of colorful flowers and the cattle delivering their young. It was the dawn of abundance. Jamshid is said to be the person who introduced Noruz celebrationsProphet Zoroaster (Zarathushtra) was the architect of the pre-Islamic Iranian cosmology who instituted many feasts, festivals and rituals to pay homage to the seven creations, the holy immortals and Ahura Mazda. The seven most important ones are known as Gahambars, the feasts of obligation. The last and the most elaborate was Noruz, celebrating Ahura Mazda and the Holy Fire at the spring equinox.[3]Some 12 centuries later, in 487 BC, Darius the Great of the Achaemenian dynasty celebrated the Noruz at his newly built palaces of Persepolis. A recent research shows that it was a very special occasion. On that day, the first rays of the rising sun fell on the observatory in the great hall of audience at 06-30 a.m., an event which repeats itself once every 1400-1 years. It also happened to coincide with the Babylonian and Jewish new years. It was, therefore, a highly auspicious occasion for the ancient peoples.[4] It has been suggested that the famous Persepolis complex, or at least the palace of Apadana and the “Hundred Columns Hall”, were built for the specific purpose of celebrating Norouz. However, no mention of Norouz exists in Achaemenid inscriptions .

Later it became the national holiday of Arsacid/Parthian dynastic Empires who ruled Iran (248 BC-224 AD). There are specific references to the celebration of Norouz during the reign Vologases I (51-78 AD), but these include no details.

Local variations

Norouz has been celebrated for at least 3000 years and is deeply rooted in the rituals and traditions of the Zoroastrian religion. Today, the festival of Norouz is celebrated in many countries that were territories of, or influenced by, the Persian Empire: Persia (Iran), Iraq, Afghanistan, parts of the Middle East, as well as in the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan,Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is also celebrated by the Zoroastrian Parsis and Iranis in India, as well as by the inhabitants of northern areas of Pakistan, mainly in Chitral. In Turkey, it is called Nevruz in Turkish, Sultan Nevruz in Albanian and Newroz in Kurdish.In most countries, the greeting that accompanies the festival is Ayd-e Norouz Mobārak (mubarak: felicitations) in Persian. In Turkey, the greeting is either Bayramınız Mubarek/kutlu olsun (in Turkish) or Cejna te pîroz be (in Kurdish).

[edit] Norouz in modern Iran

In Iran, preparations for Norouz begin in Esfand (or Espand), the last month of winter in the Persian solar calendar.

[edit] Khane Tekani

Main article: Khane Tekani

Persians, Afghans and other groups start preparing for the Norouz with a major spring-cleaning of their houses, the purchase of new clothes to wear for the new year and the purchase of flowers (in particular the hyacinth and the tulip are popular and conspicuous).

In association with the “rebirth of nature”, extensive spring-cleaning is a national tradition observed by almost every household in Persia. This is also extended to personal attire, and it is customary to buy at least one set of new clothes. On the New Year’s day, families dress in their new clothes and start the twelve-day celebrations by visiting the elders of their family, then the rest of their family and finally their friends. On the thirteenth day families leave their homes and picnic outdoors.

During the Norouz holidays people are expected to visit one another (mostly limited to families, friends and neighbours) in the form of short house visits, which are usually reciprocated. Typically, on the first day of Norouz, family members gather around the table, with the Haft Seen on the table or set next to it, and await the exact moment of the arrival of the spring. At that time gifts are exchanged. Later in the day, the first house visits are paid to the most senior family members. Typically, the youth will visit the elders first, and the elders return their visit later. The visits naturally have to be relatively short, otherwise one will not be able to visit everybody on their list. A typical visit is around 30 minutes, where you often run into other visiting relatives and friends who happen to be paying a visit to the same house at that time. Because of the house visits, you make sure you have a sufficient supply of pastry, cookies, fresh and dried fruits and special nuts on hand, as you typically serve your visitors with these items with tea or sherbet. Many Iranians will throw large Norouz parties in a central location as a way of dealing with the long distances between groups of friends and family.

Some Norouz celebrants believe that whatever a person does on Norouz will affect the rest of the year. So, if a person is warm and kind to their relatives, friends and neighbours on Norouz, then the new year will be a good one. On the other hand, if there are fights and disagreements, the year will be a bad one.

One tradition that may not be very widespread (that is, it may belong to only a few families) is to place something sweet, such as honey or candy, in a safe place outside overnight. On the first morning of the new year, the first person up brings the sweet stuff into the house as another means of attaining a good new year.

[edit] Chahârshanbe Sûrî

A man celebrating Chaharshanbe Sûrî

A man celebrating Chaharshanbe Sûrî

Main article: Chaharshanbe Suri

 Chehel Sotoun's Wall painting, that dates back to the Safavid era, depicts a Chaharshanbe Suri celebration.

Chehel Sotoun’s Wall painting, that dates back to the Safavid era, depicts a Chaharshanbe Suri celebration.

The night before the last Wednesday of the year is celebrated by the Iranian people as Chahârshanbe Sûrî Persian: چهارشنبه سوری), the Iranian festival of fire. This festival is the celebration of the light (the good) winning over the darkness (the bad); the symbolism behind the rituals are all rooted back to Zoroastrianism.

The tradition includes people going into the streets and alleys to make fires, and jump over them while singing the traditional song Zardî-ye man az to, sorkhî-ye to az man (literally: “My yellowness for you, your redness for me; “, but figuratively: My paleness (pain, sickness) from you, your strength (health) from me.

Serving different kinds of pastry and nuts known as Ajîleh Moshkel Goshâ (lit. The problem-solving nuts) is the Chahârshanbe Sûrî way of giving thanks for the previous year’s health and happiness, while exchanging any remaining paleness and evil for the warmth and vibrancy of the fire.

According to tradition, the living are visited by the spirit of their ancestors on the last days of the year, and many children wrap themselves in shrouds, symbolically re-enacting the visits. They also run through the streets banging on pots and pans with spoons and knocking on doors to ask for treats. The ritual is called qashogh-zany (spoon beating) and symbolizes the beating out of the last unlucky Wednesday of the year.

There are also several other traditions on this night, including the rituals of Kûzeh Shekastân, the breaking of earthen jars which symbolically hold ones bad fortune; the ritual of Fal-Gûsh, or inferring one’s future from the conversations of those passing by; and the ritual of Gereh-goshâ’î, making a knot in the corner of a handkerchief or garment and asking the first passerby to unravel it in order to remove ones misfortune.

[edit] The Haft Sîn

Main article: Haft sin table

The Traditional Haft Sîn

The Traditional Haft Sîn

Haft Sîn (هفت سین) or the seven ‘S’s is a major tradition of Norouz. The haft sin table includes seven items specific starting with the letter S or Sîn (س) in Persian alphabet). The items symbolically correspond to seven creations and holy immortals protecting them. Originally called Haft Chin (هفت چین), the Haft Sin has evolved over time, but has kept its symbolism. Traditionally, families attempt to set as beautiful a Haft Sîn table as they can, as it is not only of traditional and spiritual value, but also noticed by visitors during Norouzi visitations and is a reflection of their good taste.

The Haft Sin items are:

  • sabzeh – wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish – symbolizing rebirth
  • samanu – a sweet pudding made from wheat germ – symbolizing affluence
  • senjed – the dried fruit of the oleaster tree – symbolizing love
  • sîr – garlic – symbolizing medicine
  • sîb – apples, – symbolizing beauty and health
  • somaq – sumac berries – symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
  • serkeh – vinegar – symbolizing age and patience

Other items on the table may include:

  • traditional Iranian pastries such as baghlava, toot, naan-nokhodchi
  • dried nuts, berries and raisins (Aajeel)
  • lit candles (enlightenment and happiness)
  • a mirror (to see your reflection and recocgnize how much you have grown and developed over the previous year)
  • decorated eggs, sometimes one for each member of the family (fertility)
  • a bowl with goldfish (life, and the sign of Pisces which the sun is leaving)
  • a bowl of water with an orange in it (the earth floating in space)
  • rose water for its magical cleansing powers
  • the national colours, for a patriotic touch
  • a holy book (e.g., the Qur’an, Avesta, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bible, or Torah) and/or a poetry book (almost always either the Shahnama or the Divan of Hafez)

[edit] Hâjji Fîrûz

The traditional herald of the Norouz season is called Hâjji Fîrûz (or Khwaja Pîrûz). He symbolizes the rebirth of the Sumerian god of sacrifice, Domuzi, who was killed at the end of each year and reborn at the beginning of the New Year.[5]

He usually uses face paint to make his skin black and wears a red costume. Then he sings and dances through the streets with tambourines and trumpets spreading good cheer and heralds the coming of the New Year. Mehrdad Bahar, iranologist, suggests in his book that this borrowing of the Domuzi/Tammuz tradition from the ancient non-Iranian civilizations in Mesopotamia happened with the arrival of the Iranian tribes to the western parts of the Iranian Plateau at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. This borrowing may according to Bahar be true for the whole Norouz tradition itself as Indo-Iranian tribes before that did not have this tradition while the civilizations of Mesopotamia did. This later spread to all areas where Iranian culture was present but was lost by the non-Iranian cultures of Mesopotamia.

[edit] New Year Dishes

  • Sabzi Polo Mahi: The New Year’s day traditional meal is called Sabzi Polo Mahi, which is rice with green herbs served with fish. The traditional seasoning for Sabzi Polo are parsley, coriander, chives, dill and fenugreek.
  • Reshteh Polo: rice cooked with noodles which is said to symbolically help one succeed in life.
  • Dolme Barg : A traditional dish of Azeri people, cooked just before the new year. It includes some vegetables, meat and cotyledon which have been cooked and embedded in vine leaf and cooked again. It is considered useful in reaching to wishes.
  • Kookoo sabzi : Herbs and vegetable souffle, traditionally served for dinner at New Year. A light and fluffy omelet style made from parsley, dill, coriander, spinach, spring onion ends, and chives, mixed with eggs and walnut.

[edit] Sizdah Bedar

Main article: Sizdah Bedar

The thirteenth day of the New Year festival is Sizdah Bedar (literally meaning “thirteen to the door”, figuratively meaning “hit the outdoors on the thirteenth”), is a day of festivity in the open, often accompanied by music and dancing. The day is usually spent at family picnics.

The thirteenth day celebrations, Seezdah Bedar, stem from the belief of the ancient Persians that the twelve constellations in the Zodiac controlled the months of the year, and each ruled the earth for a thousand years. At the end of which, the sky and the earth collapsed in chaos. Hence, Norouz lasts twelve days and the thirteenth day represents the time of chaos when families put order aside and avoid the bad luck associated with the number thirteen by going outdoors and having picnics and parties.

At the end of the celebrations on this day, the sabzeh grown for the Haft Seen (which has symbolically collected all the sickness and bad luck) is thrown into running water to exorcise the demons (divs) from the household. It is also customary for young single women to tie the leaves of the sabzeh before discarding it, so expressing a wish to be married before the next year’s Seezdah Bedar.

[edit] Norouz in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, Nowroz festival is traditionally celebrated for 2 weeks. Preparations for Nowroz start several days beforehand, at least after Chaharshanbe Suri, the last Wednesday before the New Year. Among various traditions and customs, the most important important ones are:

  • Haft Mewa: In Afghanistan, they prepare Haft Mewa (Seven Fruits) instead of Haft Sin which is common in Iran. Haft Mewa is like a Fruit salad made from 7 different Dried fruits, served in their own syrup. The 7 dried fruits are: Raisin, Senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), Pistachio, Hazelnut, Prune (dry fruit of Apricot), Walnut and whether Almond or another species of Plum fruit.
  • Samanak: It is a special type of sweet dish made from Wheat germ. Women take a special party for it during the night, and cook it from late in the evening till the daylight, singing a special song: Samanak dar Josh o mā Kafcha zanem – Degarān dar Khwāb o mā Dafcha zanem
  • Gul-e Surkh Festival: It is an old festival celebrated only in Mazari Sharif for 40 days. People travel from different parts of the country to Mazar in order to attend the festival. It is celebrated along with the Janda Bālā ceremony which is a specific religious ceremony performed in the holy blue mosque of Mazar that is believed (mostly by Sunnite Afghans) to be the site of the tomb of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph of Islam. The ceremony is performed by raising a special banner in the blue mosque in the first day of year (i.e. Nowroz). The Guli Surkh party continues with other special activities among people in the Tulip fields and around the blue mosque for 40 days.
  • Buzkashi: Along with other customs and celebrations, normally a Buzkashi tournament is held. The Buzkashi matches take place in northern cities of Afghanistan and in Kabul.
  • Special cuisines: People cook special types of dishes for Nowroz, especially on the eve of Nowroz. Normally they cook Sabzi Chalaw, a dish made from rice and spinach, separately. Moreover, the bakeries prepare a special type of cookie, called Kulcha-e Nowrozī, which is only baked for Nowroz. Another dish which is prepared mostly for the Nowroz days is Māhī wa Jelabī (Fried Fish and Jelabi) and it is the most often meal in picnics. In Afghanistan, it is a common custom among the affianced families that the fiancé’s family give presents to or prepare special dishes for the fiancée’s family on special occasions such as in the two Eids, Barā’at and in Nowrouz. Hence, the special dish for Nowroz is Māhī wa Jelabī.
  • Sightseeing to Cercis fields: The citizens of Kabul go to Istalif or other green places around where the Cercis flowers grow. They go for picnic with their families during the first 2 weeks of New Year.
  • Jashni Dehqān: Jashni Dehqan means The Festival of Farmers. It is celebrated in the first day of year, in which the farmers walk in the cities as a sign of encouragement for the agricultural productions. In recent years, this activity is being performed only in Kabul and other major cities, in which the mayor and other high governmental personalities participate for watching and observing.

[edit] Newroz celebration by Kurds

Kurds celebrating Nouruz in Istanbul, 2006.

Kurds celebrating Nouruz in Istanbul, 2006.

Main article: Newroz as celebrated by Kurds

The Kurds celebrate this Iranian feast between 18th till 21st March. The word Norouz is pronounced as ‘Newruz’ by the Kurds. It is one of the few ‘peoples celebrations’ that has survived and predates all the major religious festivals.

With this festival Kurds gather into the fairgrounds mostly outside the cities to welcome spring. Women wear gaily colored dresses and spangled head scarves and young men wave flags of green, yellow and red, the colors of the Kurdish people. By lighting fire and dancing around it they hold this festival [3], also see: [4].

The Kurdish greetings that accompany the festival are Newroz píroz be! meaning Happy Newroz! or Bijí Newroz! meaning Long live Newroz!

The festival was illegal until 2000 in Turkey, where most of the Kurds live [5], and Turkish forces arrested Kurds celebrating Newroz [6]. In Newroz 1992 at least 70 people celebrating the festival were killed by Turkish security forces [7]. The official Turkey now celebrates Nevruz as a Turkish spring holiday. Newroz is however still considered as a potent symbol of Kurdish identity in Turkey. Newroz celebrations are usually organised by Kurdish cultural associations and pro-Kurdish political parties. Thus, the Democratic Society Party was a leading force in the organisation of the 2006 Newroz events throughout Turkey. In recent years the Newroz celebration gathers around 1 million participants in Diyarbakır, the biggest city of the Kurdish dominated Southeastern Turkey. As the Kurdish Newroz celebrations in Turkey often are theater for political messages, the events are frequently criticized for rather being political rallies than cultural celebrations.

[edit] Bahá’í Faith

The Bahá’í Faith, a religion with its origin in Iran, celebrates this day (spelling it “Naw Rúz”) as a religious holiday marking not only the new year according to the Bahá’í calendar, but the end of their Nineteen Day Fast. Persian Bahá’ís still observe many Iranian customs associated with it, but Bahá’ís all over the world celebrate it as a festive day, according to local custom. American Bahá’í communities, for example, may have a potluck dinner, along with prayers and readings from Bahá’í scripture. While Naw Rúz, according to scripture, begins on the vernal equinox, Bahá’ís outside Iran currently celebrate it on March 21, regardless of what day the equinox falls. Bahá’ís are required to suspend work and school in observance.

Although the Persian calendar is very precise about the very moment that the astronomical new year begins, in Iran, the 24-hour period (as per “wall clock” time) in which the astronomical new year begins is treated as Naw Ruz.

[edit] Fasli

Adherents of the Fasli variant of the Zoroastrian calendar also celebrate Norouz as the first day of the New Year. Other variants of the Zoroastrian calendar celebrate the Norouz twice: once as Jamshedi Norouz on March 21st as the start of spring, and a second Norouz, in July/August (see Variations of the Zoroastrian calendar), as either new year’s eve or new year’s day. That the second Norouz is celebrated by some as the last day of the year (contrary to what might be expected from a term that means “new day”), may be due to the fact that in ancient Persia the day began at sunset, while in later Persian belief the day began at sunrise.

[edit] Norouz around the world

Norouz is celebrated by Iranians publicly worldwide. It is publicly celebrated in the Caucasus region and central Asia. It is a colorful holiday in: Azerbaijan [8], Turkmenistan [9], Tajikistan [10], Uzbekistan [11], Pakistan [12], Kazakhstan [13], and Kyrgyzstan [14].

In Albania Sultan Nevruz is celebrated as a manily mystical day by the Bektashi sect, there are special ceremonies in the Tekke led by the clergy and large meals are served there. It is considered the historical Albanian New Year by the Bektashis, who refer to old Illyrian evidence.

Norouz is also celebrated by Kurds in Iraq[15] and Turkey [16] as well as by Parsis in India and Pakistan.

Other notable celebrations take place by Iranians in America, such as Los Angeles [17] and Toronto and in United Kingdom, mainly in London [18].

But because Los Angeles is prone to devastating fires, there are very strict fire codes in the city. No fires are allowed even on one’s own property. Usually, Iranians and Azerbaijanis living in Southern California go to the beaches to celebrate the event where it is permissible to build fires. [19]

[edit] Trivia

On June 1, 2006, the word for Norouz was used in the final session of the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee in the United States. 11-year-old contestant Allion Salvador of Fort Lauderdale Florida was eliminated from the top 13 contestants in the final rounds for offering the spelling “naoruse” rather than the spelling “nauruz” that was considered correct for the competition [20] [21]. The official pronouncer prompted Salvador with a pronunciation in which the first syllable was pronounced like the English word “now” rather than “no”, and indicated that no alternative pronunciations were available. The origin of the word was described as Persian and the definition given was, approximately, the Persian New Year holiday. It is noteworthy that there appears to be little agreement over how to spell this word in English and that neither the spelling considered official by Scripps nor the offered pronunciation would appear to be considered correct by most people familiar with the word





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