New Year, New Life, New Goldfish?

from Shane's Muslim Connect

I’m longing for spring more this year than I can remember. The snow here in southern Colorado is fighting a valiant but losing battle with warming days: the sun rises earlier, sets later, and it looks like the propane is going to last until the furnace gets turned off. Bring on the equinox!

Joining me in this anticipation are millions of Persians and related peoples around the world who will celebrate their new year on March 20th. Although it predates Islam, Nowruz (no rooz), the Persian New Year, is celebrated by Muslims from Turkey all the way east to India and in diaspora communities all over the planet. 

Nowruz is a beautiful celebration of spring, of new life, of putting off the old and looking forward with hope to coming days. Like Easter for Christians, but without the punch of Jesus coming out of the grave. It is a time of cleaning, feasting, and fellowshiping with family. (Tweet this.)

Watch this charming two-minute video for a look at some of the symbolism behind the haft-seen decorations, a very rough parallel to a Christmas tree.

Depending on where you live, there may be public Nowruz celebrations happening nearby you could actually go to! (Hey, Google!?)

If attending a celebration isn’t happening for you, can I invite you to join me in this: let’s buy a hyacinth and a goldfish (two of the haft-seen objects). Use them to remind you to pray for Persians and others as they celebrate Nowruz. Ask God for every bit of new life he has in mind for them to be realized in this coming year. 

If you do buy a goldfish, let me know. I’ll send a prize to one lucky new aquaculturist! 


Last week I mentioned a new engagement tool I’m working on called “The Muslim Connect ‘Hey there, Thank you, and You’re Welcome’ Cheat Sheet.” If you’d like to help fill in some of the languages on the cheat sheet, you’re invited to peek behind the curtain here