Every year, I anticipate Naw Ruz or Norouz (Persian new year) with the kind of giddy excitement I remember from my childhood. This ancient festival, which pre-dates even the Zoroastrian religion, is a joyous celebration of the coming of spring, the renewal of life and the anticipation of new beginnings.
Perhaps all the parties and traditions which have grown up around this festival have little to do with the ancients understanding of the celestial event it marks, the spring equinox, but now we celebrate, because it brings us together like no other holiday. Everyone is united by the prospect of a new start: a chance to take stock of everything which came before and fuel aspirations for everything that might come after.
In my working life, Naw Ruz also has a special role, although some years I’m better at commemorating it than others. So here’s five things you can do to mark the beginning of spring at the office and at home, bringing a little joy to those around you in the process.
- Colourful Sweets bring out the child in everyone. I sometimes take them round the office, as an opportunity for a few minutes of quality conversation with colleagues. No talk of spreadsheets or deadlines here, just one human being on a sugar high encouraging another to take a breather and indulge in the same.
- Decorate with some fresh flowers or a gold fish if you’re feeling adventurous. No seriously, there’s nothing like the smell of hyacinths to remind you of childhood Sundays at grandma’s house. Oh you mean the goldfish? It symbolises rebirth. Obviously.
- Buy a new set of clothes. Ok, this one sounds less altruistic, but marking the coming of spring with a dash of turquoise and coral makes you happy. Even the gentlemen among us. Wear a smile and its infectious brightness will rub off on those around you. Gold and leopard print accessoires are a must for any self-respecting Persian, but you can try your own take on that. I recommend tight white jeans for beginners.
- Take time for yourself and rest properly, it will leave you feeling fresh and optimistic for the months ahead, as well as give you the space you need to reflect on how you’ve been doing in the dark months of winter.
- Be generous. Treat a friend you haven’t seen for a while to lunch, get your mum that DVD box set she’s been talking about, even if no one watches DVDs any more. Send out a little love into the universe and perhaps some of it will make its way back to you, this Naw Ruz or next.
Article by Laura Hemmati, Cofounder Leadarise