(Persia Digest) – Every year at the start of spring, the people in the upper village of Kord-Kuy, in the Golestan Province of northern Iran, hold a Nowruz-Khani ceremony, which means singing in Nowruz and announcing the New Year.

Aziz Agha Farrokhi has been a Nowruz-Khan [Nowruz singer] in the village for thirty years. He has been going round the houses in the village and singing to the people to usher in the spring and New Year carrying a stick called “ghulchumagh” as a sign of power with which he knocks on the doors. The village children accompany Aziz Agha in a sing song and home owners give him sweets (or eggs) for bringing them the news of spring. The Nowruz-singer accepts the sweets and prays for the health of the household before continuing on his way.

A small bonfire is also lit on the last Tuesday of the year and the women in the village jump over it by singing “[let] your ruddiness [be] mine, my paleness yours” to give their illnesses, problems and sorrows to the fire, and the fire gives them its warmth and ruddiness instead. The villagers then gather around the Nowruz-khan and go for a walk in nature by singing songs and thanking God for their blessings and surrounding beauties.

Photos: Meysam Mohseni/Fa’ezeh Kaboli

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