Come to My Fire Party

Heyyyy Joooooooons,

March is one of my favorite months: spring is right around the corner (though stifled by the freak snowfalls we get) but furthermore Norooz is upon us! I find it a much more endearing and sacred way to celebrate a new year versus its Gregorian counterpart. I set up my haft-seen (on my snake tank because there’s no space in my small apartment) and looking forward to the blessings and implications of a new year.


Every year, the family and I celebrate Norooz on campus at the University of Minnesota, where student group PSOM (Persian Student Organization of Minnesota) plans a fantastic Norooz celebration in tandem with university resources, the local Persian market, and other organizations. It’s a lovely event with dinner and dancing for the entire community in the Twin Cities.

Norooz has always been one of my favorite times of the year because of all the time spent with family/friends, the well wishing and gift exchanging, and of course, the feasts. Even the sight of a haft-seen makes my heart soar.

In Tehran, Iran (by Mehr News)

In Tehran, Iran (by Mehr News)

My closest friends from school know how special this time is to me and throughout college, I always would wish them a happy new year. They, in turn, wish/ed it back to me. Many times, I invited them to celebrate with us at the Norooz party and taught them to say eid-e-mobarak.

I was so happy that they’d ask questions about Norooz, its celebrations, and other things associated with Persian culture and I gladly shared with them all I knew.

Beyond the scope of their Norooz curiosity, I share with them my culture as often as I can, which is usually in the form of chelokabob, mast-o-moosir, and chai.

Cooking is one of the best ways to show your love.

It is also a great way to continue to share culture and build conversations, which are essential building blocks in relationships.

It is also a great way to continue to share culture and build conversations, which are essential building blocks in relationships.

Plus, everybody likes food.

This year, I had a chance to celebrate a more traditional component of Norooz at the behest of my non-Irooni mother: Chaharshanbeh Soori. I wasn’t sure how this would be received by the gang, especially because my mom had suggested it and she’s mostly Czech.

Chaharshanbeh Suri

Chaharshanbeh Soori

Hey you guys what are you doing next Tuesday because my mom wants to celebrate Norooz with us but on a day where you jump over fires and wish for good things to come, so like are you guys free and do you like yelling and fire parties?

But it turns out that my friends were so into the idea of this event. A good friend of ours hosted the gathering at her house and it turned into a potluck with lots of food and drink.

The most moving element was the sight of friends and strangers participating in a cultural endeavor none of them had ever experienced and having fun.

My mother made little slips for everyone about the significance of Charshanbeh Soori with “zardi-ye man az to, sorkhi-ye to az man” printed on them, and described it while we ate chelokabob. After dinner, we went outside and built up the fire a bit before clearing a running path through the snow.

One by one, my friends jumped over the fire while I yelled the phrase for each of them. It lifted my soul to see my friends actively participating in this event and reaffirmed for me that when dear ones share what’s most meaningful with each other, it continually forges the bond of love and family.

Our cultures may be unique to our own selves, but sharing elements with loved ones highlights the common threads we have as human beings.

I wish you all the happiest year yet and that you can find ways to spread the joys of Norooz as far as you can with fellow Persians and non-Persians alike.

Eid-et Mobarak!






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  1. Naseem jan I loved your blog and thanks for sharing this beautiful experience with us. After a long time of negative feedbacks about our culture, this was like a breathe of fresh air. I’m so happy to see the new generation enjoys our traditional celebrations just as much as we did.

  2. Naseem Joon says:

    thanks Sara joon! it was a really wonderful and positive experience.

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