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    Iranian New Year's celebration similar to Chinese Spring Festival - Chinadaily

    Iran - Iranian New Year's celebration similar to Chinese Spring Festival - Chinadaily

    Overview:

    Iranian New Year's celebration similar to Chinese Spring Festival
    By XU JINGXI and LI WENFANG in Guangzhou (China Daily)

    Publish Date: 2016-01-23

    Iranian New Year's celebration similar to Chinese Spring Festival

    Iranian guests enjoy holiday activities arranged by the Chinese embassy in Teheran. The Chinese Lunar New Year falls on Feb 8 this year, while Iran's New Year is on March 20. AHMAD HALABISAZ / XINHUA

     

    As people in China are busy preparing for the upcoming Lunar New Year, which falls on Feb 8, Alireza Salarian, consul general for Iran in Guangzhou, is arranging to celebrate his fourth Iranian New Year in the South China city on March 20.

    Chinese Lunar New Year is also known as Spring Festival, as the season signifies a new start from the depths of winter, and the corresponding holiday carries the same meaning in Iranian culture. Nowrooz, as the Iranian New Year is called in Persian, means "new day" and falls on the first day of the spring equinox every year.

    There are remarkable similarities in the ways Chinese and Iranians celebrate their spring festivals, according to Salarian. It is a time for family reunions in both countries, and people who live away from their hometowns customarily return for a family dinner on the eve of the festival.

    Fish is a common holiday dish in both countries, as is a version of the saying, "May you get more than you wish for every year."

    Like the Chinese, Iranians enjoy a weeklong holiday to celebrate the festival, and children also wear new clothes as they accompany their parents on visits to relatives.

    While Chinese attach scrolls of blessing couplets on gateposts and offer guests nuts and candy in exquisite boxes, Iranians traditionally present an elaborate table setting with seven items starting with the letter "s" in the Persian alphabet.

    The custom came from Iran's ancient religious doctrine that considered seven virtues as seven angels whose names start with "s". Apart from garlic, vinegar, apples, wheat sprouts and sumac berries, the seven items include Iranian sweet paste made from germinated wheat and dried fruit of the oleaster tree, a type of olive native to Iran.

    Luckily, Salarian has found little difficulty in buying these Iranian specialties in shops in Muslim communities in the Chinese city. There are about 400 Iranians who have lived in Guangzhou for some time, according to Salarian. The Iranian consulate general will host a gathering in a hotel for them to celebrate the Iranian New Year in March.

    It is surprising to many Chinese people that there are so many similarities between the two nations' holidays.

    To promote Iran's culture, the Iranian consulate general in Guangzhou has held exhibitions of Persian carpets and concerts as well as showcasing Iranian food and tourism.

    "We will continue to work to increase Chinese people's understanding of Iran's culture and customs and interest them in traveling to Iran for a firsthand experience in Persian culture," Salarian said.

    "It is an important part of Iran's sixth five-year plan to boost its tourism industry. We welcome Chinese tourists and Chinese businessmen who want to invest in Iran's tourism, for example, by building hotels," he said.

    Source: chinadaily / http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2016xivisitmiddleeast/2016-01/23/content_23209274.htm

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    Patrimonito

    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.