The Kurdish people are a nation celebrating Newrojh (Newroz) with Iranian, Afghans, part of India, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and some others ethnics. As Easter and Christmas has travelled long among people Newrojh has also done some journey. Newrojh is nobodies but everybody’s highlight.
Newrojha salla 2620 píroz be
art work by Mr Rébwar Saeed, 2×2 m acrylic, Silémaní/Kurdistan 2006]
Yes the word New + Rooz has Persian roots and we shall so research why we use the same terminology as Persian. Does it explain the fact that the Persian alphabet lacked the letter /jh/ till late 15 century? Does it explain the fact that Kurdish people did not have a written alphabet of their own till early 1920s to record terminology in correct way? Does it explain the fact that Kurdish people were not much of writer but story teller?
There are native Kurdish subdialect of Goran who are still using the term Núrújh. The word in my opinion does not mean “New Day” but new Sun “vernal equinox”. It is the day a new sun is born and the natural circle starts again. On Wednesday 20th of March 2008 at 6.15 am GMT the Sun will start its new loop and once again the nature take it course. This is a new Sun. This is time we celebrate the brith of the new Sun, as we have done it for centuries. In many of the Kurdish dialects we call Sun “Rojh”. Nú (Nu, No, Niwé, New)-rojh (new sun, rojhí niwé). The sun has its holly place in native Kurdish beliefs.
What is significant that the celebration used to be called spring feast and it was important even among Phoenician, Assyrian and Babylonians. In the cult of Angels beliefs such as Mitraism which also is the root for some of Kurdish religions the spring celebration was important.
The Kurdish mythology we make connection between Newrojh and the hardship in our history which is new to others. For instance the Kurds have a legend called Kawe who is blacksmith working with Iron. In the historical archaeology the Meds period is called iron period. Then there are young whom their brain were eaten by a king with two snack on his shoulders. This again reflecting methods which was used by Assyrian in the occupied territories. They used to adopt young male/child and taking them away to be used as slave solders in the future. These were then brought back in war against own people. This way the Gods of Assyria believed that they did not loose their wholly Assyrian blood. But what happen on the spring of 612 BC when the coalition of Meds and Babylon put an end to Assyrian Empire, is again creating a true connection between Newrojh celebration and a battle between good and evil. The Kurds put this date as the start of their calendar. This is the way a nation with strong oral literature (story teller, Heyran bejh, Húre cirr) preserved its history.
The fact is that the Kurdish people do not need Newrojh to create identity for ourselves. They are as strong as they have always been on the mountains and the trains of their home. They are Kurdistan. The Kurdish people shall be as happy as any others and make preparation for celebrating Newrojh. They should brace its festivity and preserve its beautiful traditions of colour, sweet and nature. Not just going to mountain and burn tyres to make Newrojh an environmental issue of 21st century.
Mirta with his Golden Sun has much more important place in Kurdish culture than any other culture celebrating Newrojh. On Kurdish Flag, Stamp, and heart, the golden Sun of Newrojh has always been there and shine on Kurdistan. We need to catch up!
All the best for the coming New year
Dilan Roshani, Director Manager of KURDISTANICA