Novruz is the happiest and the most ancient holiday in Azerbaijan, which means “A New day”. It is interpreted as “the beginning of a new harvest, bread”. There are several versions, legends and arguments about the origin of this holiday. But, all of them are accepted that it’s the most ancient holiday on the Earth, coming with the vernal equinox (March 21-22). All they are connected with salvation. The salvation from winter, death and revival. It’s believed from historical records that Novruz has been celebrated in Azerbaijan since the third millenium BC, the time of ancient Babylon.
On the eve of the holiday people clean the house, clothes, utensils. She or he has to clean not only his or her body but also his or her spirit. You go Novruz only with kind intentions and honest thoughts.
The main symbol of Novruz is “samani”, without which you can not meet Novruz. Different delicacies (goghal, pakhlava, shakarboura, feseli etc.) and ploff are cooked. Eggs are dyed various colours, trays are decorated with candles, dried fruit and nuts, candles and bonfires are lit, samani, shoots of wheat from seed, is grown, the dead are commemorated, people who felt hurt are reconciled with each-other, relatives and friends visit each other and send gifts. Bald-headed (keçəl) and beardless (kosa) are the Novruz holiday characters.
The Azerbaijanis name the last month of the winter (22 February to 22 March) the Grey Month. The reason is that in this month the weather is often changeable, murky and dull. Wednesdays in this month have been named after the natural elements – earth, wind, fire and water. Novruz wednesdays are connected with ancient beliefs, Turkish mythology and Zoroastrianism. According to superstition, the sacred elements being cherished every Wednesday helped people in their work during the year. Every Wednesday each natural element came into existence and people performed ceremonies and held parties in their honour.