Nowruz is the celebration of the arrival of the Spring Equinox, and is regarded as the official beginning of the New Year in 3 countries: Iran, Afghanistan & Tajikistan). This unique cultural ritual celebration expands in nations such as Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is cherished worldwide by various ethno-linguistic groups. All rituals symbolize harmony with the renewal of nature. Nowruz always begins on the first day of spring marked by vernal equinox, or Tahvil. As far back as records go, Nowruz has been a celebration of early spring, when the sun begins to regain strength and overcome winter’s cold and darkness and when there is a renewal of growth and vigor in nature.

The Muslim American Leadership Alliance (MALA) and AMENA Creative have reserved the venue at Northeastern Illinois University through the Mossadegh Initiative for a Nowruz Celebration, marking the arrival of spring through music, visual arts, and culinary seminars. This includes and one of a kind tasting and a historical journey through the history of Shiraz wine, while exploring exquisite cookbooks of the Sassanid Dynasty of the Persian Empire. Discover more than 3,000 years of tradition and customs with us, as we celebrate a rich history of ancient rites and customs.


PARI-SAN are Iran-born musician Parissa Eskandari and the Berlin-based producer Paul Brenning – together they conjure sensual, urban songscapes between pop and avant-garde.

Visual Arts:

Haftsin Display- Welcome the Persian New Year to your table! Haft-sin is the arrangement of seven symbolic items on a table whose names start with the letter sin in the Persian alphabet. Each element has a special auspicious meaning, such as wealth, health and love. Learn about this beloved tradition, as it has evolved over time, but has retained its symbolism of nature.

History of Shiraz Wine and Ancient Persian Court Cooking:

Based on the documentary by BBC reporter and Master Sommelier Anahita Shams, and the research of Professor Touraj Daryaee of University of California Irvine, this exciting segment will include pairings of contemporary Shiraz wines with meals cooked based on ancient Persian court recipes. This segment will also include Emily Wines, Master Sommelier of Coopers Hawks Restaurant, who is also a wine contributor at WBEZ.

Tickets Available Here

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