Making the most of Nowruz
Nowruz is the Persian new year, and is celebrated by Iranians all over the world, but the best place of all to enjoy those celebrations is of course in Iran itself. But when is the best time to go, where should you go and what should you expect if you want to really experience the wonderful celebration that is Nowruz?
The first thing to remember is that this is perhaps the busiest time of year for travel inside Iran, so remember to be prepared for that. This includes travelling to Iran itself, and getting around the country while you are there as many Iranians travel home to families for the holiday. That means booking as far in advance as possible for your hotels and other travel arrangements.
Knowing the temperatures is always good when heading anywhere, and the good news is that Nowruz coincides with the vernal equinox, marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and occurs sometime around the middle of March, depending on the year for the specific date. This means that it falls nicely between the hotter summer months and the often-colder temperatures of December and January. Its comfortably warm when walking around, but not too hot, leaving you free to enjoy the entire experience.
Visiting Iran during Nowruz can be a very different experience to visiting other times of the year, there are less tourists in general because travel can be an issue, but that does not mean less crowds. In fact, wherever you go, any tourist spot at all, there will be crowds of people, but instead of tourists, they will mostly be Iranians.
This can be a fantastic thing though, instead of being an outsider as a tourist looking in on a glimpse of local life, you will be part of the local crowd, and get to see first hand how they enjoy all the wonderful historic monuments and sights their beautiful country has to offer. That is something unique, very different to the normal tourist experience, and certainly one to enjoy.
Because it is a holiday and a time of celebration, people tend to be much happier than other times of the year, when like the rest of us, the daily grind of work and life means little time for anyone else. During Nowruz things are different, families travel together, and they want to tell their story, it is a wonderful time to meet people and just talk and make friends.
With so many smiles around, its hard not to feel welcome and a part of things. On every street corner, you will find musicians, dancing, children playing, and such happiness really is infectious. There is always something new to see, street performers, singers, showmen, all just there on the street, performing for large crowds. You have a theatre show around every corner, without having to buy a single ticket.
Nowruz is busy everywhere you go and can be more expensive, but there are so many positives that it really doesn’t matter. If you want to see Iranians at their best, and experience the real culture of the country during its biggest holiday, nothing beats being in Iran during Nowruz. It’s a way to connect with Iran and its people that cannot be found any other way.
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