People in Ardeh village of Rezvanshahr County, northern Iran, annually cook Zarrineh, a traditional type of pastry indigenous to Gilan Province, and a special variation of halva to celebrate the arrival of spring and the Persian New Year.

Apart from cooking the pastry and halva, women in this village make shawls with knitting machine a few weeks ahead of Nowruz.

Once the pastries are ready, boys and men also start performing the traditional ritual of “Nowruz-Khani”, accompanied by their mothers, sisters, and wives who offer the sweet homemade pastries to other villagers.

In Nowruz-Khani ritual, men sing songs and play instruments to herald the advent of the New Year. Nowruz Khans improvise their songs and poems. An experienced Nowruz-Khan is the one who is more skilled at extemporizing. Sometimes, their performance features music and, sometimes, only singing. Most of the poems and songs are recited or sung either in the local dialect or Farsi.

Nowruz-Khani is a pretext for preserving the ancient tradition of the ancestors, commemorate and respect life, create happiness and bring people joy. The tradition is aimed at promoting friendship among people and bringing them greater satisfaction prior to the arrival of the New Year.

The youths developing an interest in Nowruz-Khani over the past few years and it being upheld and practiced in Iranian festivals, have been effective in keeping the tradition alive.

Here are IRNA’s photos of the ceremony held a few days ago in Ardeh:

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