Happy New Year, Iranian style

Happy New Year, Iranian style

Annual ‘New Day’ celebration offers food and entertainment to enhance cultural understanding

By Carl Kozlowski 03/02/2013

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Amid brewing tensions between the United States and the Iranian government, any opportunity to bridge cultural gaps should be embraced. That’s why Norooz in Pasadena, a celebration of the Iranian New Year that literally means “New Day,” is one of the most valuable events of the year in the Crown City, and has even been declared “a new Pasadena tradition” by Mayor Bill Bogaard. 


Norooz in Pasadena is a nonreligious and non-political cultural event, timed to mark the beginning of a new year at precisely the time of the vernal equinox, or the beginning of spring. 


This year, the equinox arrives on March 21, but the biggest local celebration is Thursday at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, with a reception at 6:15 p.m. and a program at 7 p.m. 


While Bogaard will be the special guest of honor, Pasadena Human Relations Commission Chairman Nat Nehdar will serve as the master of ceremonies for the event. 


The keynote speaker will be Ali Nayeri, a theoretical physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 


Entertainment will be provided by the Dance & Neyreez Music Ensemble, directed by Mehrdad Arabi. 


Authentic Iranian tea, sweets and authentic appetizers, tea and sweets served in the traditional style of Persian tea houses. 


All the fun is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested by March 11.  Seating is limited to the first 350 attendees, and it is requested that all who attend are ages 8 and up.


Visit  noroozpasadena@yahoo.com to RSVP. 

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