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Friday 23rd August
Salaam Aleihum from Azerbaijan - Page Two

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Salaam Aleihum from AZERBAIJAN

The Novruz Holiday

We have many interesting holidays. I'll tell you about the Novruz holiday. Novruz is celebrated on the 20 and 21 of March at the beginning of Spring.

Novruz means "new day". It is the best holiday for Azerbaijanis. The history of this holiday is very ancient old so nobody can say when people began to celebrate it.

It may be interesting for you to know that we begin to celebrate Novruz a month before. It lasts 4 weeks. Every week on Tuesday (it is called Charshanbe) every family sits around the holiday table. People make bonfires in the yards and jump over them. There are 4 Charshanbes before Novruz. They mean Land, Fire, Water and Air.

Before Novruz, families clean their houses and yards. Everything must be clean. People buy presents for each other. After a month of preparation Novruz is celebrated and the holiday itself lasts 2 days.

On these days women cook different dishes and cakes. Our national meal called plov must be prepared. Also very tasty cakes are cooked (Pakhlava, Shekerbura, Badambura, Shorgogal etc).

On Novruz Eve there must be samani on the tables - it resembles grass and is the symbol of Novruz. We dye eggs in different colours.

Children play a game called Kosa-Kosa. On the Novruz evening children take their caps and go to their neigbours. They put their caps in front of the door, knock and hide. The owner of the house must put sweets, cakes and dyed eggs into their caps. Also we make a bonfire in the yard and jump over it.

Read the WIZ information on AZERBAIJAN

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We would like to thank F. Dups and K. Askerov for the use of the photographs

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