The 2018 Nowruz Festival will be held Sunday, March 18, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center.
Photo Contributed by Ali Khaligh
Following 3,000 years of customs and traditions, the colorful Nowruz Festival — the Persian New Year celebration — will be held Sunday, March 18, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center. The free event attracts 20,000 visitors who come for the music, dance, dramatic performances, shopping at the Bazaar, and costumed characters roaming the festival. The festival was previously held at the Reston Town Center and the John Carlyle Square Park in Alexandria.
Nowruz, which normally falls in early spring, is when Persian-Americans will join locally to celebrate the new year. There will be 75 vendors offering jewelry, books, artwork, crafts, and other traditional Persian products. A main stage will be set up that provides entertainment with 50 musicians, vocalists, dancers, DJs, artists, costumed characters, and traditional players. The entertainment begins at 11 a.m.
“Every year more people join this festival,” said organizer Shohreh Asemi. “This year instead of restaurants, a variety of food trucks will be present.” Asemi said what’s new this year will be Persian and non-Persian food trucks parked outside. There will also be tents where children can paint eggs and cards for free. She said last year’s Nowruz Festival was voted Best Cultural Festival for D.C. by the Washington City Paper’s readers.
Why should people attend? “Because it’s a fun day for free,” she said. Visitors will be able to watch “beautiful dances, singers and art on stage, go shopping at the Bazaar, have lunch with family and learn about a new culture.”
THE NOWRUZ FESTIVAL is a family-friendly, fun event that celebrates life, love and good will. Of all the Persian national festivals, the New Year celebrations are at once the most important and the most colorful.
The venue provides a fun place for people to celebrate with family and friends, to taste Persian food and enjoy traditional and modern Persian entertainment. Among the traditions is a ceremonial table called the cloth of seven dishes (each one beginning with the Persian letter Sin). The symbolic dishes consist of Sabzeh or sprouts, usually wheat or lentil, representing rebirth. Another is Samanu or a sweet, creamy pudding. Another is Seer, which is garlic in Persian, which represents medicine.
In addition to attracting people from Virginia, Maryland and the District, organizers hope to attract international guests from other countries that celebrate Nowruz, including Turkey, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, among others.
THE GOAL is to share the Nowruz Festival with both Persians and non-Persians. The event sends out positive messages, like celebrating earth, spring time, love and peace to the community. Planners want to bring different musicians and dancers from other countries that celebrate Nowruz, as well as new musicians that offer more variety. They also want to bring different historical and costumed characters from Persia (like Haji Firuz, a traditional herald of Nowruz dressed in a red costume and tambourine) that interacts with the crowd.
The 2018 Nowruz Festival will be held Sunday, March 18, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center, 8100 Tysons Corner Center, McLean. For more information, visit the website at http://nowruzfestival.org. Or contact organizer Shohreh Asemi at 202-369-1515 or email Shohreh directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.