Norooz brings its own unique traditions. Sanam Kavari, a UNC senior and the president of the UNC Persian Cultural Society, said one of the major traditions is the Haft Sin: haft meaning 'seven' and sin being the letter 'S.' The Haft Sin is a table spread that lays out seven items that start with the letter seen in Farsi.
“Typically this includes things like sumac, and there is specific type of grass that starts with 's,' usually we have a goldfish, some flowers, these kinds of things,” Kavari said. “They symbolize different things for the Persian new year.”
Ava Erfani, UNC sophomore and co-vice president of the Persian Cultural Society, said another event associated with Norooz is Chaharshanbe Suri, which occurs the Wednesday before and welcomes the coming of the new year. This event is also known as the The Festival of Fire, for good reason.
“You jump over fire pits,” Erfani said. “Its super fun. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid ... It is supposed to cleanse you as you jump over the fire of everything that was bad or old from the past year.”
Although the event on Sunday will not include flames, Kavari said the festivities will include dancing, catered dinner and live performances.
“It is a formal event. It will be a combination of performances, a dinner and then dancing,” Kavari said. “That’s how Persian people like to celebrate. People like to dance and eat.”
Erfani said the event draws not only student and faculty but also brings together members of the community of Persian background.
“A lot of Iranian members of the community come and some students and faculty, so it’s a really cool culmination of the year for us,” Erfani said. “It’s super fun, and it’s a super cool way to learn about the culture.”
Jackson also said the true goal of the event on Sunday is to bring the Persian community together.
“I think all Norooz celebrations in Iran are all about gathering with the community,” Jackson said. “It’s getting the crud of the last year off of you and being fresh for the new year.”
Jackson said this event is open to all members of the community.
“It’s a great opportunity for anyone, even if you’re not Iranian,” Jackson said. “I think you should come and welcome the new year and experience a really deep culture and see how beautiful it is."