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Tajikistan's biggest annual celebration is the spring festival of Nowruz, literally "New Day." Nowruz marks the beginning of the Persian New Year, which starts at the spring equinox. The roots of the festival are Zoroastrian—the religion of the Persians before they converted to Islam. For the Tajiks, Nowruz represents a festival of friendship and renewal of all living beings. Jumping over the fire on the last Wednesday of the year is practiced by the Tajiks as well. One tradition that has survived in Tajikistan is the gathering of wildflowers by children in the villages. They bring the flowers back and, while wearing colorful attire, walk around the village, knock on people’s doors and present them each with a flower. This happens one week before Nowruz and is an occasion for many old folk songs that are sung by the children during the event.

Screening time: Thursday, May 4, 9:49 pm, The Shedd Recital Hall


Length: 30 min.

Country: Iran

Language: Persian with English subtitles

Director: Mehdi Bemani

Producer: Documentary and Experimental Film Center

Producer Web site: http://defc.ir/en/

Distributor: Documentary and Experimental Film Center

Distributor Web site: http://defc.ir/en/