Growing up in Iran, I thought the whole country celebrated Passover


April 15, 2022

Foreground, author Aylin Sedighi Gabbaizadeh is shown as a child in Iran. The background displays a traditional haft-seen table marking the Iranian holiday of Nowruz.

(JTA) - Growing up in Iran, I never truly appreciated the difference between spring cleaning, New Year's and getting ready for Passover. The Jewish holiday takes place almost simultaneously with the Persian New Year, known as Nowruz, when the whole country engages in a frenzy of preparations.

Nowruz (A New Day), which marks the beginning of spring, is Iran's most festive and colorful holiday. Persians, Jews, Muslims, Zoroastrians and even Bahais all purchase new clothes, make traditional cookies and engage in 12 days of celebrations.

These celebrations include setting a special table, known...

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