By Laman Ismayilova
Spring is the perfect time to rejoice the beauty of nature. The beautiful season of spring is about to come.
The end of the dismal winter weather will be marked with unique festivals and traditions. People all over the world celebrate the transition from winter to spring in different ways.
The arrival of spring is celebrated in Azerbaijan as well. Being a family holiday and differing from other holidays in its historical roots, essence and culture, Novruz is traditionally celebrated on March 20-21. However, Novruz celebrations begin a month before the actual holiday.
The festival represents the end of winter and the victory of good over evil.
Novruz has been celebrated by Azerbaijani people for thousands of years.
The holiday is thought to date back to the 3rd millennium BC in ancient Babylon. The first records of Novruz as a spring holiday come from 505 BC.
In the ancient legends and myths of the Oguz Turks Novruz is a symbol of abundance.
The spring feast was marked as a public holiday in the ancient kingdoms of Albania and Atropatena.
Four pre-holiday Tuesdays of Novruz are Su Chershenbesi (Water Tuesday), Od Chershenbesi (Fire Tuesday) Hava Chershenbesi (Wind Tuesday) and Torpaq Chershenbesi (Earth or Last Tuesday), and each them is dedicated to the awakening of one of the nature’s elements.
This year Azerbaijanis celebrate Water Tuesday (Su Chershenbesi) on February 26. Water is a symbol of purity and renewal, reborn.
Each of Tuesday has its own khoncha, tray filled with different sweets and fruits.
There must be pure drinking water in khoncha of Water Tuesday.
At this time, the water begins to wake up and snow melts.
It is believed that the water brought from the spring brings abundance.
People do house cleaning, spade tree and flower bottoms in gardens on this day.
On Water Tuesday, family members splash water on themselves before going to bed.
Right there they treat each other with sweets like honey or sugar.
Then it is necessary to smell a fragrant smoke that is the way of getting rid of "evil spirits".
By jumping over flowing water in the New Year, one clears himself from his past year's sins.
On the first Tuesday people start to grow samani which is sprouted seeds that symbolize the beginning of new life and prosperity.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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