History of Norooz

Iran English Radio

Norooz, in word, means “new day”. It is the new day that starts the year, traditionally the exact astronomical beginning of the Spring.

For thousands of years, Norooz was rotating. The Zoroastrian religious calendar, used before Islam, consisted of 12 months with 30 days each, making 360 days, plus a “stolen five” (Panjeh-ye Mostareghe) days that was held at the end of each year, adding up to 365 days. Early astronomers were not aware of the leap years and did not add the one day more every four years, thus caused the rotation of Norooz. The other fact was that during the anarchic times and moments of unrest in the country such as time of Alexander, or end of Ashkanids, people forgot to add the five stolen days, and this resulted in another problem in the calendar. During the Sasanid era Tansar, the head priest (Mubedhan-i Mubedh) of Ardeshir I…

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