Apr 3, 2012

Nowruz in Afghanistan

Nowruz in AfghanistanNowruz is celebrated for two weeks throughout Afghanistan. People wear new clothes, refurbish their house, paint the buildings and henna their hands.
During the first three days of the year, families and relatives meet and visit each other’s houses.
One of most famous of Nowruz traditions among Afghans is cooking Samanu (or samanak). Samanu is a special type of sweet dish made from Wheat germ. Women take a special party for it during the night, and cook it from late in the evening till the daylight, singing a special song: Samanak dar Josh o ma Kafcha zanem - Degaran dar Khwab o ma Dafcha zanem.
One of the most significant symbolic traditions of Nowruz in Afghanistan is Haft Mewa, or “Seven Fruits.” (Haft Sin, or seven “S,” is a similar tradition common in Iran.) The “seven fruits” table starts with seven dried fruits: raisins, senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), pistachios, hazelnuts, prunes (dry fruit of apricot), walnuts and either almond or another species of plum fruit. Haft Mewa is like a fruit salad, served in the fruits’ syrup.
Along with other customs and celebrations, normally a Buzkashi tournament is held. The Buzkashi matches take place in northern cities of Afghanistan and in Kabul.
This year, all Afghans are hoping to start a good year with changes and improvement in security issues.
More pictures:1, 2

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