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Iran today - preview
The Iranian New Year, No Ruz, is marked by thirteen days of celebrations, 26 March to 8 April in 2006
  • We arrived in Teheran in the middle of it
  • Every public and private building has a No Ruz table set with a goldfish in a bowl, seven items that start with s in Farsi, eggs and either a copy of the Koran or the poems of the great national poet Hafiz, depending on the religiousness of the household
  • It is the time of hope and a new beginning
  • The nation is on holiday, with much picnicking and camping, so that the parks are full to overflowing with extended family groups, and even the sides of motorways and the grass in the middle of dual carriageways is densely populated
  • On the last day it's obligatory to eat out of doors, and the equipment used, and menus provided, would be the envy of many restaurateurs in Britain
  • City dwellers go to the country while the towns fill up with countryfolk
  • Everywhere we went we were engaged in conversation when people heard us speak English
  • It ranged from the stilted 'where you from? Welcome to Iran, we hope you like our country' to the sort of conversations we only have in Britain with people you've known for years
  • The kindness of strangers was overwhelming

  • Kath Worrall, Carlisle & Holm MM

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