Nowruz: The Forgotten Spring Festival Of The Subcontinent

Since today, March 21, is Nowruz, I thought it would be great (and timely, of course) to share this piece I came across a few days ago on a friend’s Facebook Timeline. The blog is very thorough, seemingly well-researched (though, it would have been helpful to see where the author got most of his information from; citations/references would have been useful!), and informative; it provides a historical background on the (forgotten) festival of Nowruz in Pakistan.

On that note, Happy Nowruz, everyone! 🙂

Sherryx's Weblog

If one looks at the cultural history of Muslims in India, its hard to ignore the festival of Nowruz: The spring festival of Persia and central Asia which marks the start of spring of the start of Persian New Year.For more than a thousand years Nowroz was an official festival of the imperial courts in Dehli and Agra. Later it enjoyed the support of the princely states like Awadh and Hyderabad. Most Indians may remember K.Asif’s epic Moghul e Azam , which shows Jashen e Nowruz of Moghul court.

Nowruz was not just a fashion of muslim elites of India, rather it had a multi-dimensional character. After the Arab-muslim conquest of Persia, the festival of Nowruz became the symbol of a cultural resistance against Arabization and Arab imperialism. With the alliance of the sunni clerical establishment with the Caliphate in Baghdad after the initial resistance of the great Sunni…

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3 responses to “Nowruz: The Forgotten Spring Festival Of The Subcontinent

  1. It’s not really forgotten, people that used to celebrate it still celebrate it like in Northern Pakistan(Gilgit/Hunza) or among the Parsi,Ismaili and Bahai communities here.

    Most Shias I know here celebrate it as an Eid cause it coincides with the coronation of Hazrat Ali as Caliph, and they fast on nowroz for that reason, the other groups like don’t celebrate it cause it isn’t there history or culture, that’s it.

    In Punjab they celebrated Basant until a few years ago, it is a nice spring festival in Feb/March where everybody flies kites and wears orange/red/yellow clothes, Nowroz is just the Persian equivalent.

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