Every culture has a way of celebrating the passing of one season to another. Some are ancient and filled with symbolism and tradition. This was the case when the 9th annual Persian Parade marched down Madison Ave. this past Sunday. Nowruz is the celebration of Spring and the New Year according to the Iranian calendar and is also a way of teaching the children of the tradition and culture from back home. This years parade had more children participating in dance and song than in previous years. The NYC Police Marching Band announced the start of the parade while soon followed by a representation of Zoroaster, one of the oldest religions of humankind. The presence of fire is usually part of the festival in other parts of the world but in NYC, it’s a big no no to have an open flame. A group of traditional dancers were the first of many to display their moves. The crowd enjoyed their costume and flowing dance moves. The Persian area is home to many countries with Iran being the predominant country. As part of the Persian Parade, other countries represented their culture through dance and costume. A group from Krygyzstan made their appearance soon followed by a group of young Armenian dancers much to the delight of the crowd. One of the largest Iranian flags was carried down Madison Ave. by the group representing Iran. A group of gypsy dancers had fun dancing to the happy crowd.
The Rumi ancient mystics made their way in front of a crowd pleaser, the Zoor Khaneh. Another group of enthusiastic young dancers representing Azerbaijan put on a nice dance show for the crowd. It’s always great to see the younger generation to carry on the tradition and none was better than an Armenian group. One of the best parts of the parade was when the belly dancers appeared. They were accompanied by a representation of Haji Firuz that got the crowd all worked up. A more modern dancing group all dressed in black suits and red ties dance their way down the parade route while some watchers snuck in a dance with them. They definitely had the moves. Closing out the parade were a group of children waving the Iranian flag and dancing to a favorite song. People of all origins were invited to join in as they made their way down to Madison Square Park for the post-parade celebration. It’s great to see the young parade grow into a larger celebration of one of the oldest holidays in Persia.