A festive mood could be seen and felt as soon as Rachel and I made our way to 38th St off of Madison Ave. as the preparations for the two-week long celebration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year and the arrival of spring, was kicking in high gear. The 8th annual Persian Parade was soon to start. DJs were busy preparing the tower of speakers on their floats while dancers were rehearsing their steps and colorful costumes could be seen everywhere. Although Persia is no longer a recognized country, it is generally used to describe the culture and tradition from the Iranian region. Parade organizers, NYPP, expected 50,000 spectators to view the event and Madison Ave. was soon filling up with viewers both young and old. Rachel made her way further down the parade route to take some great photos while I watched the mounted police signal the start of the parade.
Behind the large Persian Parade banner, a young man held high a symbol of Zorostrian culture. They were followed by two clowns..one held many green white and red balloons while the other was the Haji Firuz, the traditional herald of Nowruz. He was quickly followed by an uncle of Santa Claus who was a symbol of old man winter leaving and springs arrival. Giving gifts, eydi, to young children is a tradition and a young boy received a dollar bill and showed it off to his happy parents. Little did the young boy know his gift would be matched by a NYC Detective. Nice job. After the VIPs marched on by, the fun really started. A variety of dancers showed off their traditional dance steps to the cheering crowd while the upbeat music came blaring from the loudspeakers. There was plenty of enthusiasm and a vest for life from the dancers and some of that rubbed off on the crowd as people from all cultures joined in on the fun time.
A crowd pleaser was an Iranian wrestler of Zoor Khaneh doing warm up exercises along the parade route while followed by the Rumi Persian mystics dancing in circles. The best was saved for last as a float played techno style music and children in green, red and white t-shirts with Iran on the front danced and invited the crowd to follow to the end of the parade route and into Madison Square Park where hundreds kept the spirit of the event well into the afternoon. Rachel got caught up in the crowd of revelers and we met right outside the entrance to the park and split a Persian chicken sandwich…quite tasty. A dj set up his equipment in the park and young and old alike danced to both modern and traditional music. Many smiles and a general good feeling of celebration was seen all throughout the park. Happy Nowruz.. eid-i shoma mobarak (may you have an auspicious New Year).
To see more pictures go to “Photographs” link on the right column and
CNN link– http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-589374
Next Parade: Easter Promenade Sunday April 24th 11am – 2pm 5th Ave. fr 44th to 57th .