In Afghanistan the Norouz-feast is celebrated which, at least for the children has a similar meaning as Christmas in other countries. It takes place at the start of spring and lasts altogether 13 days. It reaches its highlight at the beginning of spring on March 20th/21st. Norouz symbolizes the thriumph of the good and the victory over dark demoniac powers which are represented by the passed winter. With that Norouz resembles customs celebrated in Germanic characterized countries at Easter.
Norouz is a New Year’s celebration and means literally translated from Farsi (Persian) “new day”.
During preparation time for the Norouz-feast deceased relatives are visited at the cemetery. People dress in new cloth. A table is decorated for the custom „Haft Sin“. Literally translated Haft Sin means the „seven S“. Seven different seeds should sprout, every single one has a special symbolic power. Prior to the celebration a thorough house cleaning is done. During the peak of the Norouz-feast presents are exchanged and a happy New Year is wished. In the towns a figure completely dressed in green named Ammu Norouz („Unkel Norouz“) goes from house to house and gives presents to the children. In the streets small fires are lit over which young and old are jumping. Turned to the fire they speak the words: „My paleness“ – that means everything that is negative in me and is harmful – „may belong to you, your redness“ – everything that the fire and the light creates is good – „shall belong to me“. For the people in Afghanistan this day combines Christmas and New Years’s Eve.