Category Archives: Naurooz

Enjoy spring awakening in Baku


By Laman Ismayilova

After the long, dark, winter days, spring is literally a breath of fresh air. The snow is melting, flowers are blooming, and the days are getting warmer.

Novruz, a Zoroastrian holiday, marks the beginning of spring in Azerbaijan. Novruz bayram is now one of the most anticipated holidays in Azerbaijan

Marking the first day of spring and the beginning of a new year is one of Azerbaijan’s most colorful holidays. Being a family holiday, Novruz is celebrated on March 20-21. But, it all begins four weeks before the actual festivities.

Every Tuesday night, small bonfires are prepared outside which everyone jumps over, expressing wishes for a good and happy year without grief or pain. Each of the four Tuesdays is represented by its own symbol: the first one is water, the second is flame, the third is earth, and the fourth is wind. The water renews nature, refreshing it and preparing it for the new year. Fire signifies rebirth; earth signifies the revival of the earth; and wind represents the arrival of spring and the blossoming of trees.

Noruz is rich with ancient traditions and games. ‘Khidir Ilyas’ (the symbol of fertility and blossom), ‘Kos-Kosa’— an entertaining game (symbolises the incoming of spring) and fortunetelling are among them. The important Novruz symbols are khoncha (a tray with sweets, nuts fruits and dyed eggs on) and samani( green shoots from wheat seeds).

The holiday was given the status of an official holiday in Azerbaijan by a presidential decree dated 13 March 1990. In 2009, Novruz was included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and since then,March 21 was declared the International Day of Novruz.

Traditionally Novruz is marked in Azerbaijan with the annual festival, “Maidan Bazaar” set up near the Gosha Gala Gates for several days. Here, Baku residents and guests enjoy many interesting events, including the performance of wrestlers – Pehlevans , rope-walkers and magicians, as well as artists of the children’s theater.

During the festivities, the visitors will enjoy mugham and classical music pieces, national songs of different nations, modern pop and jazz music. Besides, the participants will be able to cook national sweets or wave carpets.

This year, Nizami Cinema Center invites everyone to enjoy also festivity scheduled for March 18-19.

During the festivity, visitors will enjoy beautiful dances, funny games and other surprises. Young viewers will meet with beloved Novruz characters- Kechel, Kosa and Bahar gizi (Spring girl).

Nowruz Open House

Save the Date

Nowruz Open House




1:00 pm- 8:00 pm


15316 Barnesville RD

Boyds, MD 20841


Everyone welcome to light a candle

Tea and sweets will be served

Any family who is interested in holding a start of the year “Porseh” remembrance for their deceased please contact Parmis Khosravi at


Nowruz Function




6:45 pm-11:45 pm


15316 Barnesville RD

Boyds, MD 20841


More information will be provided in our feature emails.

For any questions please contact Parmis Khosravi at


Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration at ZAMWI

Sunday, March 5, 11 am–5 pm

Sackler and Ripley Center — Smithsonian Museums, National Mall,  Washington DC
Ring in the Persian New Year at our ninth annual Nowruz celebration! Featuring free attractions for all ages, this year’s festival includes storytelling, calligraphy, hands-on art activities, and more.
A program for Children and Families:
Metro Accessible at the Smithsonian Train Stop
Made possible by the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Persian Cultural Celebrations Fund.   


For media inquiries, contact:
Roxie Sarhangi – Roxie PR
Tel: +310.666-1546


Farhang Foundation’s daylong cultural festival moves to UCLA campus to accommodate Los Angeles’ most popular Nowruz event.
Los Angeles, February 15, 2017 – The most colorful festival of the year marking the arrival of spring, Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) is back. Bringing together joyous sounds and spectacle for all to enjoy, the event is bigger than ever for its Ninth Annual Nowruz festival. The Farhang Foundation debuts a new home at UCLA’s Royce Hall and Dickson Court, having outgrown the previous venue at LACMA.
The daylong festival is free and open to the public and will be held March 12. Last year, the cultural event was enjoyed by an estimated 20,000 guests. Part of a tradition dating back at least 3,000 years in Iran and surrounding regions, Nowruz translates to “new day” in the Persian language. It marks the vernal equinox and symbolic rebirth of nature. The holiday is also observed by nearly 100 million around the world, including the U.S. and in places as far-flung as Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, India and Turkey.
Farhang Foundation is proud to present a full day of cultural programming at its Nowruz festival for the L.A. community on Sunday, March 12, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., honoring not only a beloved Iranian tradition, but also a universally felt spirit of friendship, family ties, and renewal. The event features musical performances, Iranian dance, children’s activities, a traditional Haft Sin display, an annual Iranian costume parade open to all ages, and much more. The day concludes with a highly anticipated musical performance by renowned artist, Mohsen Namjoo. Hailed as “the Bob Dylan of Iran” by The New York Times, Namjoo’s voice is deep, his lyrics unexpected, and music revolutionary. Namjoo is known as the first artist to fuse classical Persian music with Western style, blending the traditional Iranian lute (setar) and electric guitar.
“Farhang’s annual Nowruz celebration has now become a true Los Angeles staple, showcasing Iranian culture and hospitality for the whole city and bringing us all together for a beautiful day filled with music, dance and cheer for the entire family,” says Hormoz Ameri, Farhang Foundation Trustee and Chair of Nowruz planning Committee.  “In our ninth year, we are excited to expand the festivities and move to our new home on the grounds of the beautiful UCLA campus, so even more guests can enjoy the celebrations.”
Outdoor activities will take place in Dickson Court North and South, which are adjacent to each other and to Royce Hall. With the exception of the Centerpiece Musical Program Starring Mohsen Namjoo at 5 p.m. in Royce Hall (tickets are $25, $45, $75 and $150), all other events are free and do not require tickets.
Here’s the day’s schedule:
12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
A variety of programming will repeat throughout the day on two stages outdoors on Dickson Court North and South.
Farhang’s Annual Iranian Costume Parade, at Dickson Court (starts 3 p.m. in front of the main stage at Dickson Court North)

Children and adults alike are invited to join in this year’s 4th Annual Costume Parade. Wear your favorite traditional colorful costumes. The parade will proceed through Dickson Court and the adjacent areas.

Djanbazian Dance Company (Dickson Court North Stage)

The Djanbazian Dance Company has toured nationally and internationally. For Nowruz, the group will delight audiences with a series of Iranian dances incorporating both traditional and modern themes.
Daneshvar Children’s Ensemble (Dickson Court North Stage)
The Daneshvar Children’s Ensemble lead by Parisa Daneshvar is part of the Persian Arts Society Music Institute, teaching Persian instruments, traditional and classical music, as well as music to children. Parisa Daneshvar and her children’s ensemble will perform a special Nowruz program.
DJ Arin (Dickson Court North Stage)
The popular, LA-based DJ will be spinning the best in Iranian music from past and present throughout the day.
Grand Haft Sin Display (Center of Dickson Court North)
In the center of Dickson Court, all can enjoy a Haft Sin display. The stunning exhibit features an eye-catching table laden with items used as symbols of spring and renewal, such as colorfully painted eggs, representing fertility, and goldfish swimming in a bowl, representing life.
Iranian Tea House (Dickson Court North)
Festival goers will experience a Persian style decorated tent. Inside the tent, purchase tea and Persian sweets to welcome the New Year.
Musicians and Dancers
Throughout the campus area, dancers from the Firuze Dance Company dressed in Iranian folk costumes and musicians playing traditional instruments will be performing, bringing a joyful sound and blur of colorful excitement to the proceedings.
Stilt Walkers
The character of Amoo Nowruz (“Papa Nowruz,” this bearded gift giver of folklore could be compared to Santa Claus) and Hadji Firooz (his sidekick) will be walking around the grounds on stilts, greeting guests.
12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Children’s Programming (Dickson Court South)
There will be dedicated area for children, with music, arts, and crafts, as well as a special puppet show.
Ziba Shiraz & Ensemble (Dickson Court South Stage)
Iranian-American poet, singer, songwriter, and storyteller Ziba Shiraz will perform an interactive musical story about Nowruz. This program is designed to appeal to both children and adults.
Puppet Show by Negar Estakhr (Dickson Court South Stage)
An actress, designer, and puppeteer, Negar Estakhr is best known for her “Kolah Ghermezi” fame, as the show is Iran’s most popular children’s program, similar to “Sesame Street.” She will be debuting a new puppet show specifically created for Farhang Foundation’s Nowruz celebration.
Mohsen Namjoo

5 p.m. Exclusive Centerpiece Musical Program Starring Mohsen Namjoo with Special Guests, inside Royce Hall

Hailed as “the Bob Dylan of Iran” by The New York Times, Mohsen Namjoo is an artist, songwriter, singer, music scholar, and setar (traditional Persian lute) player based in New York City. This visionary artist seamlessly blends the classical Persian setar with electric guitar, and rock and blues vocal techniques with Persian avaz (singing), fusing the sounds of the ancient world with the pulse of today. He has been touring the world to sold-out concerts at prestigious halls such as the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco; Walt Disney Hall, Los Angeles; Barbican Hall, London; and Kölner Philarmonie, Köln, Germany. His latest album, “Personal Cipher,” was released in 2016. Tickets for the Namjoo concert are on sale via Ticketmaster.
UCLA’s Royce Hall & Dickson Court are located at 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles.
Please join us, and Eide Shoma Maborak, or Happy New Year!
About Farhang Foundation
Farhang Foundation is a nonreligious, nonpolitical and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications, and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebrations of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, film screenings, and poetry readings in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. However, the content, viewpoints, or biases expressed by individual artists, academics, institutions, or events supported by the foundation belong solely to each individual party and do not necessarily reflect the views of Farhang Foundation. For more info visit
Follow Farhang Foundation:
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube  
Farhang Foundation, P.O. Box 491571, Los Angeles, CA 90049


Saturday, March 18, 2017
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


All ages
Free with Museum Admission
Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to celebrate Nowruz—the Persian New Year, and welcome the first signs of spring! Learn about Nowruz traditions and explore Persian works of art in the galleries. Enjoy artist demonstrations, music, dance, art and more throughout the day. #mfaBoston #nowruz
  • View a Haft Seen display—a key element of Nowruz celebrations—designed by Farzaneh Fallah-Sohy and Mostafa Masomi.
  • Experience the beauty of the diverse cultures of Iran through Persian classical and modern dance performed by the Aftab Dance Group.
  • Explore the Museum’s collection of ancient Iranian and Persian art and discover Islamic Highlights on a tour or a talk.
  • Join Davood Shahin as he demonstrates the fine art of Persian calligraphy in Shapiro Family Courtyard.
  • Listen to Shooka Afshar and her ensemble perform as they bring the spirit of Iranian folk tunes to life.
  • Be inspired to create your own masterpieces and drop in on an array of art-making activities the whole family will enjoy.
Check back for additional details.
All events are free with Museum admission.


Presented with support from Azi Djazani, Mahmood Malihi, and Azita Bina and Elmar Seibel.

Naorooz Timings – 2017

Abu Dhabi (+4) Monday March 20, 2017, 02:28:40 PM Istanbul (+2) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM
Adelaide (+10) Monday March 20, 2017, 08:28:40 PM Jakarta (+7) Monday March 20, 2017, 05:28:40 PM
Amsterdam (+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM Jerusalem (+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM
Anchorage (-9) Monday March 20, 2017, 02:28:40 AM* Kabul (+4:30) Monday March 20, 2017, 02:58:40 PM
Ankara (+2) Monday March 20, 2017, 12:28:40 PM Kuala Lumpur (+8) Monday March 20, 2017, 06:28:40 PM
Ashgabat (+5) Monday March 20, 2017, 03:28:40 PM Kashgar (+8) Monday March 20, 2017, 06:28:40 PM
Athens (+2) Monday March 20, 2017, 12:28:40 PM Lima (-5) Monday March 20, 2017, 05:28:40 AM
Atlanta (-5) Monday March 20, 2017, 06:28:40 AM* Lisbon (+0) Monday March 20, 2017, 12:28:40 AM
Auckland (+13) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 PM Madrid (+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM
Baghdad (+3) Monday March 20, 2017, 01:28:40 PM Mashhad /Iran (+3:30) Monday March 20, 2017, 01:58:40 PM**
Baku (+4) Monday March 20, 2017, 02:28:40 PM Melbourne (+11) Monday March 20, 2017, 09:28:40 PM
Bangkok (+7) Monday March 20, 2017, 05:28:40 PM Mexico City (-6) Monday March 20, 2017, 04:28:40 AM
Barcelona (+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM Montreal (-5) Monday March 20, 2017, 06:28:40 AM*
Beijing (+8) Monday March 20, 2017, 06:28:40 PM Moscow (+3) Monday March 20, 2017, 01:28:40 PM
Beirut (+2) Monday March 20, 2017, 12:28:40 PM New Delhi (+5:30) Monday March 20, 2017, 03:58:40 PM
Berlin (+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM Nairobi (+3) Monday March 20, 2017, 01:28:40 PM
Bishkek (+6) Monday March 20, 2017, 04:28:40 PM Oslo (+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM
Calgary (-7) Monday March 20, 2017, 04:28:40 AM* Ottawa (-5) Monday March 20, 2017, 06:28:40 AM*
Chicago (-6) Monday March 20, 2017, 05:28:40 AM* Rio de Janeiro (-3) Monday March 20, 2017, 07:28:40 PM
Copenhagen (+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM Rome(+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM
Denver (-7) Monday March 20, 2017, 04:28:40 AM* Riyadh (+3) Monday March 20, 2017, 01:28:40 PM
Dubai (+4) Monday March 20, 2017, 02:28:40 PM Samarqand (+5) Monday March 20, 2017, 03:28:40 PM
Dushanbe (+5) Monday March 20, 2017, 03:28:40 PM Singapore (+8) Monday March 20, 2017, 06:28:40 PM
Frankfurt (+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM Sydney (+11) Monday March 20, 2017, 09:28:40 PM
Geneva (+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM Tabriz /Iran (+3:30) Monday March 20, 2017, 01:58:40 PM**
Halifax (-4) Monday March 20, 2017, 07:28:40 AM* Tehran /Iran (+3:30) Monday March 20, 2017, 01:58:40 PM**
Havana (-5) Monday March 20, 2017, 06:28:40 AM Tokyo (+9) Monday March 20, 2017, 07:28:40 PM
Helsinki(+2) Monday March 20, 2017, 12:28:40 PM Toronto (-5) Monday March 20, 2017, 06:28:40 AM*
Hawaii (-10) Monday March 20, 2017, 12:28:40 AM Vancouver (-8) Monday March 20, 2017, 03:28:40 AM*
Isfahan /Iran (+3:30) Monday March 20, 2017, 01:58:40 PM** Washington DC (-5) Monday March 20, 2017, 06:28:40 AM*
Islamabad (+5) Monday March 20, 2017, 03:28:40 PM Zagreb (+1) Monday March 20, 2017, 11:28:40 AM


Please also check

Sharing and Caring – Perpetuating a Zarathushti Tradition



As FEZANA enters its 30th anniversary, and migrants grow roots in the North American continent and establish a unique new identity for themselves in our new western Zarathushti diaspora, traditions are forming.

Harkening back to our countries of origin, to celebrate the New Year and the coming of Spring on March 21st (Jamshedi Navroz) we are suggesting that we tell our friends and neighbors who we are by sharing a snippet of our culture, and reviving the tradition of giving them a gift of ‘mithu mohnu’ – any sweet dish.


We suggest we make something sweet (shirini) for six or more of our neighbors, gift-wrap it nicely, include a little write up (available from us upon request) in your gift box/plate/basket and deliver it personally to them on or the day before Jamshedi Navroz.

captureSuggestions for ‘mithoo mohnu’ include: khatai, ravo, badam pak, sev, dahi, mava cake, kumas, parsi custard, mava ni boi, dar ni pori, badam-ni-boi , jalebi, rabri, or any other traditional sweet dish. Iranian traditions for NowRuz, include shirini (sweets) and nuts, for the Haft Sheen table: Komach Sen , Ghahveh Badam, Aajeel , Nan-nokhodchi, Baghlava , Noghol, Noon- Berenji, Toot (mulberry marzipan —see photo at left), Sohan Asli , Louz (1). If you don’t like to cook feel free to order it. Just ensure it is good stuff and authentic.

Try to chat about this project with your friends. It does not have to cost you the moon, the idea really is to share this simple tradition with your neighbors.

We got an email from Vera Springett sharing her idea of what she plans to do for her ”care and share”.

Vera says: “I’ll be making ravo and putting it in mason jars for the neighbors. Each mason jar will contain layers of ravo, then a mix of fried almonds and golden raisins, and so on till the top. I think it will look pretty and make it fun to eat. Maybe I’ll provide a spoon too. Let’s see. I’ll tie the write-up around the lid.”

capture1For shipping to addresses in the USA, you may wish to consider ordering ‘badam-ni-boi’ (fish-shaped almond-marzipan) from Roshan Rivetna of Chicago area (, 630-340 8272).

For shipping to addresses in Canada, please contact: Niloufer Mavalvala of Greater Toronto Area, Author and Founder,,, M: +1 416 301 9959

We would love to hear back from you, particularly from the Zarathushtis from Iran who are an integral part of the North American diaspora, with creative ideas and suggestions as we travel together on this fun journey and celebrate life.

With all good wishes for Sadeh!


Behram Pastakia

Information Receiving and Dissemination Committee of FEZANA

(1) Reference: Traditional Zarathushti Recipe Book from Iran, shared with participants of the North American Zoroastrian Congress, Rye, New York

Coordinator: Shireen Khosravi, President, Iranian Zoroastrian Association, New York.

The tale of ‘two’ Zoroastrian new years


The writer is currently the Commissioning Editor at The Express Tribune

The writer is currently the Commissioning Editor at The Express Tribune

Zoroastrians the world over celebrated the Shehenshahi New Year 1386 YZ yesterday. The occasion was marked with the usual felicitations from members of the community, but those outside it were left with big question marks hanging over their heads. Many of my friends and colleagues raised a very pertinent question: Why do Zoroastrians celebrate two Navrozes (New Years)? Well, we just need an excuse to feast is how I would have liked to respond to bury the issue in belly laughs, but I owe it to history and the once mighty Persian Empire to shed light on the circumstances that have led to this.

As many of you already know, after the Arab conquest of Iran, our Zoroastrian forefathers left everything and sought refuge in the Indian subcontinent. They lived there in harmony and grew in numbers, until they learnt that during the course of their sea journey they had lost track of time. This is where the second Zoroastrian calendar, the Shehenshahi calendar, traces its beginning.

Faredun K Dadachanji elucidates the matter in his 1995 book Speeches and Writing on Zoroastrian ReligionCulture and Civilization. A graduate of Bombay University and an ardent Zoroastrian, he writes, “About two hundred years ago, poor Iranian Zarthostis, who had been still left behind, also began to migrate to India. When our ancestors came in contact with them, they learnt that their calendar had been a month ahead of ours. So a dispute arose in our community, and one section began calling itself Kadmi (belonging to the pure and true). Great quarrels started over this petty matter, and our community was divided into two parts: Kadmi and Shehenshahi.”

In the Shehenshahi calendar, one followed by Indian Zoroastrians (Parsis), a year consists of 12 mahs (months), with each month comprising 30 days or roj. If you do the math, that leaves us with 360 days in a year, but an additional five days or Gathas were added to the twelfth month to make a 365-day year. It is the same as the authentic Kadmi calendar, only a month behind. Hence, the two new years; the Kadmis brought in the New Year in July this year and the Shehenshahis in August.

But, that’s not all. In the early 20th century, a Zoroastrian scholar and reformer from Bombay, Khurshedji Rustomji Cama, devised the Fasli Calendar, which gave Zoroastrians their third new year, celebrated onMarch 21. The calendar maintains alignment with the seasons so New Year’s Day coincides with the spring equinox. Similar to the two other calendars, it consists of 12 months of 30 days with the additional five days, but patterned after the Gregorian calendar, it intercalates a leap day every four years.

Today, however, our small community of Zoroastrians is united, courtesy of the great Jamshed Nusserwanji and his novel idea. “He went to Dastur Dhalla, and told him that he had prepared a new scheme: Hambandagi on Farvardegan days according to the Shehenshahi calendar,” Dadachanji writes in his book. Suffice it to say, the hatchet has been buried.

In Karachi yesterday, our Saddar Agyari (fire-temple) and the one in Pakistan Chowk saw followers of the faith — whether they were brought up in the Shehenshahi, Fasli or Kadmi tradition — participate in prayer and exchange good wishes for a prosperous year. History has taught us a valuable lesson, so no matter the roj, mah, sal, we will find a reason to celebrate together.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2016.


The Legacy of Cyrus the Great

I’m so honored to have the contribution, relevance and impact of our Zoroastrian religion preserved by today’s next generation of kids, and the parents who helped them shine, a few weeks ago when we ushered in the Persian new year Norooz (also spelled Nowruz, Navroz, and countless other ways) at the Zoroastrian Association of Chicago in Burr Ridge.‪#‎inspire‬

Jim Engineer

The Legacy of Cyrus the Great – Cyrus Cylinder – “Long Live King Cyrus” A Play by ZAC Children at the Zoroastrian Center of Chicago on Saturday, March 26, 2016




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Nowruz is the name of Persian New year. The word literally means New Day. The day denotes the beginning of the spring in Northern Hemisphere. As soon as the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes day and night, the Parsi families from all over the world gathered together to enjoy the new year day and perform ther religious rituals.

The Celebration

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In India, the Parsi new year is celebrated as Jamshed Navroz by the Parsi community. The festival is celebrated on the first day of the first month of Fasli Calendar which is followed by the Parsis.

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In India, Navroz is celebrated with immense fun and excitement by the Parsi community. They perform special rituals and rites with full devotion on this particular day.

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Food is one of the prime things of this day.

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The most common dish which Parsis enjoy on this special day is chicken farcha. It is a typical Parsi dish of fried chicken. Among desert, they enjoy falooda desert and Lagan-nu-custard desert. The first one is a sweet milk dish made from vermicelli and rose essence and the second one is caramel custard.

The Attire

Sku Code: 392-5529SA625881, Price: $35.70

Sku Code: 392-5529SA625881, Price: $35.70

Parsi women love to wear sarees with beautiful embroidery work. They generally prefer lightweight fabrics like georgette or chiffon.

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The Parsi style of saree draping is slightly different from the traditional Indian saree draping style. It is simple yet elegant. Want to know how to drape a saree in Parsi style? Here you go:

  • Take the inner end of saree and wrap it around your waist anticlockwise.
  • Tuck the end into the petticoat at right waist.
  • Bring the outer end of the saree around waist anticlockwise and hold it with your right hand.
  • Throw outer inner-piece over right shoulder from back leaving right end forming a ‘v’ below the knee. Make pleats of remaining loose portion of saree.
  • Tuck into centre front waist leaving some portions free at left waist.
  • Hold outer end-piece in place with the brooch on the right shoulder.

Source: HuffingtonPost

Can’t understand properly? Here is the video tutorial to make it, even more, simpler.

What is the biggest Spring festival of India? Undoubtedly it is Holi. But do you know there are several other festivals celebrated during the Spring time in India? Yes, there are lots of festival celebrated during this time of the year. Other than Holi and Easter there are some not-so-popular festivals celebrated in India during the month of March. One such festival is the Parsi New Year celebration which is officially known as Nowruz.

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