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Fisher to Host Persian New Year Celebration

February 27, 2018

This March, members of the St. John Fisher College and Rochester communities will gather for the Persian New Year, Nowruz.

A display of plants and flowers describe Nowruz, the Persian New Year celebration. Photo by Annette Dragon.

The event is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m., on Saturday, March 17, in Cleary Family Auditorium in Kearney Hall and is free and open to the public.

“Nowruz dates back to antiquity and is one of the largest celebrations for Persians and Eastern Europeans,” said Dr. Robert Dunbar, who organized the event in collaboration with faculty colleagues Drs. Jim Bowman, Wes Renfro, David Bell, and community member Shahin Monshipour. “Typically observed on the equinox, Nowruz is a celebration of spring and symbolizes a time of renewal and rebirth.”

A family-friendly festivity, the event will feature live music and dance performances, as well as cultural displays from Iran, Central Asia, and Turkey, among others. A highlight of the afternoon includes a musical performance on the nay anban, a Persian instrument similar to the bagpipe.

“We hope attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how people celebrate the coming of spring differently around the world and that they will enjoy the festival, and gain a deeper appreciation for diversity and other people’s cultures, beliefs, and practices,” said Dunbar.

The celebration is sponsored by Fisher’s Mideast Studies Group and the International Culture and Arts Network, a community group that promotes intercultural dialogue and awareness in Rochester region.

For more information, email