Each year, Iranians around the world gather to celebrate Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. A prominent tradition for Nowruz, the haft sin display uses seven elements representing the seven divine creations or bounteous immortals of Persian history. Each of the elements bears significance: The mirrors and decorated eggs represent honesty and fertility, for instance.
Mandana Soleimani attended the event with her daughter Mahdis Katuzian. Soleimani worked as a volunteer for Farhang Foundation and helped set up the event at UCLA.
A member of the Firuze Dance Company displayed the traditional Nowruz dress.
Directed by Robyn Friend, the Firuze Dance Company demonstrated traditional Persian dances in Dickson Court. Friend earned three degrees in Iranian linguistics from UCLA and now works to promote Persian culture throughout Southern California.
Saaz o Dohol musicians, Rubik Harutyunyan and Gevorg Rostomyan, accompany the Firuze Dance Company in Dickson Court.
Melissa Kelman of the Firuze Dance Company waves a brightly colored flag during one of the folk dances in honor of the New Year. Dancers circulated through the crowd throughout the day inspiring others to join them dancing.
Dancers from the Djanbazian Dance Company demonstrate traditional Iranian movements taught to them by artistic director Rubina Vartanians. Vartanians trained in various dance styles, including classic Persian styles, under the instruction of Anna Djanbazian, founder of the Djanbazian Dance Academy and graduate of UCLA’s modern dance program.
Arezoo Koochakan, director of the L.A. Daf Ensemble, leads a percussion ensemble with strong and varied beats from the “daf,” meaning drum in Farsi.
Men and women on stilts represent Haji Firouz and Amu Nowruz, the mythological announce the arrival of the New Year. By dancing through the streets and banging on tambourines, these classical figures of Iranian folklore encourage all around them to usher in the coming of spring.
Parisa Daneshvar leads the Daneshvar Children’s Ensemble in presenting the history and themes of Nowruz. Through dialogue in Farsi, Daneshvar and the children tell and sing of the winter’s sleep and the awakening of spring.
Members of the Džambo Aguševi Orchestra accompany Mamak Khadem in performing traditional Iranian songs. The crowd joined in singing and dancing along to the well-known Persian music.
Attendees of the festival joined in the annual Nowruz Spring Walk around Dickson Court. The Farhang Foundation invited all those dressed in colorful traditional clothing to participate in the parade.
Children joined in the Spring Walk parade. Many portions of the event focused on including children in the celebrations, providing stations for face painting, games and egg decoration.