The word Nevruz is of Persian origin and is a combination of the words “nev” (new) and “ruz” (day), meaning new day.
According to the old Persian calendar, it is the first day of the year and regarded as the start of spring, when the sun enters the house of Aries.
Not only Nevruz Day, but also Nevruz Night has a heavenly significance for the people of Eastern Anatolia.
It is believed that all creatures and things prostrate themselves before God on this night.
That day, every individual’s fortune and future for the next year is set out. People prepare for the new year by wearing new and beautiful clothes.
Meals are cooked in the home, and mutual visits take place.
In the Central Anatolian region, Nevruz is called “Mart dokuzu” (nine of March). On March 21, people get up early, pay visits to graves and make wishes. The person who intends to make a wish collects forty stones from the graves and puts them into a sack. He then hangs the sack on the wall of his home, and meanwhile, makes a wish. One year later, he looks inside the sack. If the number of stones has risen to 41, he believes that his wish will come true. On the next nine of March, the stones are put back where they were taken from.
On Nevruz Day, people lay their tables with an assortment of foodstuffs, play games, hold festivities, eat painted eggs . prepare large fires.
Nevruz, which every society celebrates in forms peculiar to itself, still exists with traditional celebrations in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan, the Uygur region, Anatolia and the Balkans.