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2010 Norooz: Nowruz Events and News Worldwide

2009 Norooz: Nowruz Events and News Worldwide

The Smithsonian Presents: Nowruz! A Persian New Year Celebration

Smithsonian-logoSunday March 7, 2010
Washington, D.C.

This year’s Nowruz celebration is bigger and better, with expanded spaces for programs in the Discovery Theater and on the concourse of the Ripley Center (connected underground to the Sackler Gallery). Welcome the return of spring early with Persian food, music, storytelling, games, and more—and watch out for Haji Firuz!

Enjoy a full day of family events, with music, food, storytelling, games, and crafts in the Freer and Sackler Galleries as well as in the expansive spaces of the Ripley Center and the adjacent Discovery Theater. Start the party early for the Persian New Year (March 20)!

This Nowruz celebration is made possible with the generous support of the Ebrahimi Family Foundation.

Smithsonian-Nowruz“Fire” Jumping
Cast off the troubles of the past year and celebrate the victory of light over darkness with the return of spring by jumping over an artificial fire.

Enjoy playing the board game of backgammon, created in ancient Persia. New to the game? Members of the Northern Virginia Backgammon Club offer introductory lessons. (12 & 2 PM. Sackler sublevel 1)

Displays of Haft Sin tables
Learn about the beautiful Haft Sin displays that Iranian families traditionally set out to honor the return of spring.

Greeting cards, “fire” jumping, and fortunes for children
Welcome in the new year by making your own Nowruz greeting card, jumping over an artificial fire, and finding your fortune in a fun version of the Falnama (Book of omens).

Storytelling: Xanthe Gresham: Persian Magic

Back by popular demand! Xanthe Gresham brings to life stories of ancient Persian kings and exciting episodes from the Shanama (Book of kings) and other classic Iranian epics. A lecturer in storytelling and drama at the University of East London, Xanthe entertains young and old alike in the spacious Discovery Theater.

Video: Babak and Friends: A First Norooz
In this delightful animated film, young Babak lives in the United States and learns about Nowruz when his cousins arrive from Iran to celebrate the New Year. 2005 / 30 min. / video / English

Storytelling: Surabhi Shah: Asian Stories of Rebirth

Storyteller Surabhi Shah returns to the Freer to share stories of new beginnings from across Asia. Her engaging storytelling style is part of a rarely heard tradition from India that weaves story with melodic verse.

The Pejvak Ensemble, directed by Behfar Bahadoran
Enjoy new music performed on traditional Persian instruments, featuring Bahadoran on tar and setar; Faraz Minooei on santur; Pezhham Akhavass on tombak; Shohreh Majd, vocals; and Steve Bloom on percussion.

Book signing: Najmieh Batmanglij
Acclaimed chef and author Najmieh Batmanglij signs copies of her cookbooks, including Happy Nowruz: Cooking with Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year.

Slideshow from 2009
YouTube Preview Image

* Free tickets are required for the Pejvak Ensemble and Xanthe Gresham. They will be available through Ticketmaster ( beginning at 10 AM on February 22. Any remaining tickets will be distributed at the door on March 7.

We need volunteers!
Join in the Nowruz festivities by volunteering at the Freer and Sackler Galleries on Sunday, March 7. Volunteers will work in four-hour shifts (morning or afternoon) greeting visitors, providing directions to activities, assisting with programs, and more. In exchange, volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and lunch. For more details or to volunteer, please contact Lyz Bridgforth at or 202.633.0521.

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

1050 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, D.C. 20560
Metro: Smithsonian