Occupation: Pre-Med Student
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/7/20
Primary Language: English
The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant, identified as SK, and myself, GK.
SK: One unique holiday that I celebrate is Nowruz, which is known as Persian New Year. This year it fell on March 20, but the date changes each year.
GK: Why is that?
SK: This is because the holiday falls on the first day of Spring Equinox. So it depends on when exactly the sun crosses the celestial equator.
GK: How do you usually celebrate this holiday?
SK: Um, there’s a lot of things we do. One of the more intriguing events we partake in is called Chaharshanbe Suri. This is a tradition where you jump over the fire, as it serves as a way to purify yourself from all of the sin you’ve partaken in. We also usually have a big feast where we eat Kashke Bademjan (Eggplant Dip), and chicken soltani.
GK: How long have you been celebrating this for?
SK: It’s been 16 years now.
Background: The informant, who comes from Persian heritage, knows of this holiday due to the fact he has been celebrating it for the majority of his life. His father, was originally born in Iran, migrated to the U.S. when he was a kid. And with this move, he brought the many traditions and customs along with him. Those traditions have thus been passed on to his son, who deeply enjoys the holiday as it brings his whole family together throughout the start of spring.
Context: The informant and I discussed this holiday over Facetime.
My Thoughts: It was very intruiging to hear about the Persian New Year and how different their traditions are vs. our New Year traditions here in the United States. I feel like ours is more of a celebration, while there’s is more of a reflection and cleansing. You could see this through the Chaharshanbe Suri. Hearing about these traditions of the informants makes me want to be more reflective while celebrating New Year’s and think of what I can improve on for the next year. In addition, it was really interesting to hear about how this holiday is connected with the earth cycle. I’ve always wondered why some holidays change dates each year, and that answered my question.