The world celebrated Nowruz, or the Persian New Year, on Saturday but many people don't know exactly what Nowruz is or why it is celebrated.

RJ and actor Anoushey Ashraf explained the history of Nowruz and why it it's so important in a series of Instagram Stories. She celebrated Nowruz at her sister's house in Lahore.

Nowruz is celebrated by people in Iran, Zoroastrians, Shias and Ismaili Muslims. It marks the beginning of a new year and the first day of spring.

“It signifies a time of spiritual renewal and physical rejuvenation, as well as a spirit of gratitude for blessings and an outlook of hope and optimism," she wrote.

In Persian speaking countries, and in Iran in particular, the exact moment of the vernal equinox is important when all family members gather together to celebrate the start of the new year, she said, explaining it is called Tahvil-i-Sal.

"The festival of Navroz commemorates a centuries-old agrarian custom that over time was integrated into various cultures and faith traditions."

Today, Navroz is celebrated in many parts the Middle East and Central and South Asia, particularly among peoples influenced by Persian and Turkic civilisations, wrote the RJ.

She also quoted from Surah Yasin of the Holy Quran.

Ashraf also posted a picture of the dining table displaying their Haft-sin. A Haft-sin is an arrangement of seven symbolic items whose names start with the Persian (and Urdu) letter seen, which is the the 15th letter in the Persian alphabet. Haft is Persian for seven.

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