In Irvine, we love to celebrate our many heritages. Irvine is home to more than 80 different churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship, serving Irvine’s wonderful cultural and religious diversity.
One of our biggest cultural celebrations in Irvine is the annual Persian New Year (Nowruz) Festival at Irvine’s Bill Barber Community Park, sponsored by the Iranian-American Community Group Orange County.
Sadly, this year’s Nowruz Festival in Irvine had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak and the need for all of us to maintain social distancing.
In an announcement, my friend Neda Mottaghi-Movahed, a long-time organizer of the Irvine Nowruz Festival, wrote: “Dear friends and supporters, we regret to inform you that IAC 7th annual Nowruz festival which was scheduled for March 22nd in Irvine has been canceled. This was a very difficult decision due to outbreak of Coronavirus and Orange County Public Health recommendations which is to avoid large gatherings. Celebrate Nowruz with your friends and family. Eid Mobarak.”
Persian New Year, or “Nowruz,” translated from Persian to literally mean “New Day,” takes place at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, centering around the Spring Equinox. It is an ancient tradition, having been observed in Persian culture for approximately 5,500 years (older than the great pyramids of Egypt), celebrating the rebirth of the Earth after the cold of winter and welcoming the warmth of spring.
When was a new beginning — a “New Day” or Nowruz — more needed than now?
So even though we won’t have the Festival and we must keep apart from each other, let us celebrate Nowruz together with all our hearts.
May first day of Spring brings us all health, peace, happiness and joy!
Nowuz Mubarak! نوروز مبارک