Preparations for Novruz (spring “New Year”) begins this month. Four pre-holiday Tuesdays (or rather the night from Tuesday to Wednesday) in Azerbaijan are festive and called Su Chershenbe (Water Day), Odlu Chershenbe (day light), Torpag Chershenbe (Earth Day) and Axir Chershenbe (last day), or Yale chershenbe (the day the wind).
Today is the first celebration – a day of water, Su Chershenbe. Accounts it is usually the last week of February. Snow on the slopes of the mountains begin to thaw, meltwater filled the river. On this day, at sunrise people went to get water to the river or to the source, washed, sprinkled with each other. Water, which slid to a ray of sunshine, according to ancient legend, is updated and the sacred, and the desires of those who redeemed it must be realized.
Novruz is the happiest and the most ancient holiday in Azerbaijan, which means “A New day”. It is interpreted as “the beginning of a new harvest, bread”. Biruni wrote about this as well; “The things that dried became green”.
There are several versions, legends and arguments about the origin of this holiday. But, all of them are accepted that it’s the most ancient holiday on the Earth, coming with the vernal equinox. All they are connected with salvation. The salvation from winter, death and revival.
The first sign about the coming of spring gives the flower “Novruz gulu” – a snowdrop. The Novruz holiday is the holiday of the revival of nature. It is the time of love and the time of the peasants’ labour. It is the beginnig of a preparation to the future haverst. On the eve of the holiday people clean the house, clothes, utensils. She or he has to clean not only his or her body but also his or her spirit. You go Novruz only with kind intentions and honest thoughts.
The main symbol of Novruz is “Samani (Malt)”, without which you can not meet Novruz.