This year, for Newroz (March 20), the weather wasn't so great. Many picnics were cancelled on the actual day and the rest of the week because of rain. However, the day before Newroz, big celebrations were going on around the country.
We heard there was a shindig downtown and another at a park, so we decided to taxi to the one in the park, and see what was going on. Caleb was at soccer practice, so it was up to the rest of us to capture the moment.
Well, there were Christmas lights everywhere.
There was a stage with speeches and dancers and singers.
There was a seating area built over the water.
And there were people!
We decided to fit in with everyone else and take a selfie. It's the rule to live by here.
The focus of the evening was this tower that had wood for a bonfire built on top..
In this picture, taken later in the evening, you can see a man climbing down after making sure all was well up top.
There was also a small bonfire built behind us on a large rock.
Newroz is all about the light of a fire.
I confess that I have been told the story once about why the fire in the mountains is significant, but for the life of me, I can't remember now.
I saw this framed photo at a recent book fair, and I took a picture of it to show you how the fire is lit in the mountains.
There were torches present at the park, as well.
Finally, after a long wait, and a nasty trip to the bathroom (where Keira and I were asked to take pictures outside with a family of 6 one-by-one!), the fire tower was finally lit.
(incidentally, I had pictures of the bathroom, but I think I'll spare you)
Immediately after the tower was lit, there was a huge fireworks display.
Much bigger than December 31 (since this is their New Year's).
When we first arrived, we didn't know what to expect or that we would be standing in a crowd for over two hours. We listened to music and speeches in a language that we don't understand all that well, and we made some fun and interesting memories. A few men came up to talk to Doug, take selfies with him, and get his contact information, but the rest of the evening was just about observing those around us.
However, immediately after the fireworks, we started making our way to the exit.
It felt very similar to exiting an A&M football stadium after a game. Moo! Moo!
After a 30 minute walk, we found a taxi, and we made it home safely. Happy late Newroz!