PhD cohort celebrates Nowruz

19 May 2014
Nowruz celebration
Foad and Behrooz play the tar and tonbak for guests

For the first time ever, the Business School’s PhD cohort decided to get together to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

Nowruz is held every year on 21 March and has been celebrated in Iran and many other countries for thousands of years. The festival marks the first day of spring or an equinox. The moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalises night and day is calculated exactly every year and families gather together to observe the rituals.

On Friday 21 March, around 60 PhD students and staff gathered in the Decima Glenn Room to experience the traditions, music and food of the Nowruz celebration.

Iranian students set up the traditional table setting called “haft seen” which is considered the most important activity in the celebration of Nowruz. Translated literally, the haft seen table means a “table of seven things that start with the letter S’’. Doctoral students were able to sample homemade Persian cookies and sweets.

Iranian PhD students Foad Marzoughi and Behrooz Balaei treated the guests to live music, playing the traditional instruments tar and tonbak, while another student entertained students by showing them the traditional Persian scripts. Also on display were Iranian handicrafts, musical instruments and poetry books.

Doctoral student Leila Etaati, who put in a lot of effort to organise the event, said: “We experienced a most enjoyable afternoon with our colleagues, most who did not know much about Iranian culture before this. It would be nice to see more cultural events in our faculty.”