Terracotta Bunnies for Sale
March 20, 2011

Which holiday is celebrated every spring with: colored, decorated eggs and baskets in the shape of chicks or bunnies lined with grass?

To my surprise, these are all the decorations I'm seeing around town in anticipation of Nowruz.

Nowruz Altar
I had realized that Easter wasn't originally a holiday recognizing the resurrection of Christ but a celebration of spring and fertility. But, I hadn't expected so many of the elements common in American Easter celebrations to also be found in the Persian New Year celebration, Nowruz. Clearly, the two holidays have forked from some common ancient festival.

Nowruz does use additional decor that isn't seen in Easter. Goldfish seem important for some reason--I don't remember there being any Easter Fish in the holiday I knew. Also central is an altar on which candles are lighted and seven objects whose names start with the letter "S" in Persian are placed.

Perhaps I'll have to convince my nephews and nieces that a truly traditional celebration of their upcoming holiday will require a visit from the Easter Fish.