For the first time since its inception, Tarab NYC has, as a group, observed Nowruz. This is important to us, especially at this moment in time. In order to express why, it is important to first understand the significance of the New Year’s celebration.
The spirit of the Festival Chahar Shanbeh Suri is one of renewal and invigoration. Historically celebrated on the last Tuesday before the New Year, this ritual commemorates the experience of the old year and looks forward with hope to the new. Revelers chant a mantra as they leap over flames: “Zardeyeh man az to, Sorhikeyeh to as man,” or “Take from me my pallor and sickliness and replace it with your strength and ruddiness.” With this wish, participants cleanse themselves of the previous year’s burdens, grudges, and burdens in exchange for health, happiness, and strength.
Nowruz, which marks the official celebration of the New Year, is a time of community, reflection, and celebration. Celebrants visit their loved ones and spend the evening sharing meals, reflecting on shared past memories, and developing future plans together. It is a time to look forward to the future and absorb the lessons of the past.
The themes linking both events, and which center the New Year’s celebrations, are community, reflection, and renewal. For our communities in particular at this moment in time, these themes become especially relevant: “who is our family,” “What have we learned over the past year,” and “what comes next,” are questions that many of us carry in light of family dynamics after coming-out, turbulent political changes, and shifting social climates. It is in this spirit that Tarab NYC reasserts its commitments to its people: we are, first and foremost, a community, a chosen family for our members and a lighthouse for those seeking to find us. We are also activists, illuminating the struggles of our family here and abroad and fighting for all of our rights to find peace, love, and happiness. It is our hope that, through our community, our activism, and our planning, that we will continue to push forth our mission and strengthen our impact.
From all of us at Tarab NYC, we wish you a year with health, happiness, and fortune.