Sunday 30th March 2014 – 1:15pm NoRuz – The Persian Spring New Year: Documentary broadcast on BBC1

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Three hundred million people around the world celebrate NoRuz, the Persian Spring New Year, which marks the Spring Equinox. It’s the biggest festival of the year for millions from Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia to India and in the UK, celebrated with fire – leaping, religious prayers recited in front of fire and a countdown to the exact moment of the Spring Equinox.

Spring begins on the 20th March and for the Iranian comedian Shappi Khorsandi this is NoRuz or New Year’s Day.  Shappi Khorsandi, who was born in Iran, wants her young English son to experience NoRuz festival for the first time.  He joins her on her journey of discovery from setting up the centre – piece Haftsheen celebration table to taking his first symbolic leap over fire.  Through their journey, Shappi reveals how many springtime traditions have much deeper, sacred roots in this ancient NoRuz festival.

The roots of NoRuz are in the ancient Zoroastrian faith.  Legendary rock star Freddie Mercury was a Zoroastrian and his sister, Kashmira Cooke, explains in this 30 minute documentary what the Zoroastrian faith meant to the family.  Shappi also meets TV Chef Cyrus R Todiwala OBE of Cafe Spice Nameste who is a Zoroastrian.  He cooks and chats with Shappi about NoRuz traditions.  Shappi and the BBC crew visited the Zoroastrian Centre in Harrow to meet ZTFE Senior Priest Ervad Rustom K Bhedwar, President Malcolm M Deboo, Shahrokh Vafadari, YZs, XYZs, their parents and other members at the ZTFE Jamsheedi NoRuz Children’s party on 9th March and Jamsheedi NoRuz celebrations on 21st March.

Malcolm M Deboo


Thank you to John Wise and Jennifer Roberts at fbfe for forwarding this information.