My family is from Azerbaijan, one of the countries that celebrates Novruz (sometimes also known as Iranian New Year) on March 21, the spring equinox. This day symbolizes the coming of spring and new beginnings and is a very ancient pre-Islamic tradition. We celebrate it by building fires, visiting friends and family and eating LOTS of sweets. One of the attributes of Novruz is xonca, which is essentially a tray of sweets, nuts, dried fruits, candles and a patch of green grass in the middle, called semeni. This picture is my version of a xonca that I assembled on Novruz this year, away from my family unfortunately. The meaning of this holiday has really grown on me as I got older and moved further away from family.
khodzharovan, “Novruz xonca,” Heritagebackpack, accessed October 25, 2021, http://heritagebackpack.net/items/show/88.