The spring festival of Nowruz (Nevruz) is celebrated in Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan. Of course it is a major event in multicultural Toronto too. Most of these events mentioned here below are Iranian but one is multicultural with participants from many of these other countries. These are the only festivals we’ve heard about so far.
This ancient Iranian festival dates back to 1700 BCE of the early Zoroastrian era. It is a cultural and not a religious event. There will be music, dancing and at one of these events, an opportunity to jump over fire which symbolizes enlightenment and happiness. The actual day is March 21.
Among the several related affordable and free or nearly-free events in Toronto:
Friday, March 12. 10:30am-12:30pm. Nowruz for Kids. A fun Norouz event brought to you by Ferdows Kids and ArtCave! Arts, crafts music, treats and lots of wonderful Norouz spirit! $8.87. Edithvale Community Centre, 131 Finch Ave. West Toronto. http://bit.ly/1L8dS5R
Friday, March 12. 2-10pm; Saturday, March 13. 10-10pm. 4th Annual Narooz Behnam Bazaar. St. George’s Centre (behind St-George Antiochian Orthodox Church), 9116 Bayview Avenue south of 16th Avenue. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Behnam, see: bit.ly/Oa4u5G. 1-855-825-1515. Our blog about this favourite event: bit.ly/1gzblw5.
March 13–18. 17th Norouz Bazaar. Sheraton Parkway Hotel, 600 Hwy 7 East. For more information 416-500-7577. Free entrance to this event. Lots of food, pastry, nuts, dance, prizes and much more. Free underground parking. Video: https://youtu.be/-dB_5eyasIM.
March 13, 2016. 11am-7pm (free); 7pm-11pm (ticketed). 3rd Nowruz Festival. Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, 10268 Yonge St. Hosted by Nowruz Festival Canada and Nava Music Centre: https://www.facebook.com/events/571032246383411/. http://nowruzfestival.ca. 647-202-8308 or email@example.com. http://bit.ly/1XJVlyQ.
March 15, 2016. 6-10pm. Prime time-7-8pm. Iranian-Canadian Fire Festival (Chahārshanbe-Suri) Nowruz in Richmond Hill Green, 1300 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill. 905-737-1236. Over 8,000 people attended last year’s event. For more information: Mina Fadavi, President, Association of Iranian – Canadians for Nowruz Festivals, 647-933-8293 or info@Iraniancanadianfirefestival.com. For our previous blogs about this event: bit.ly/21s2iXj.
Sunday , March 20th, 2016. 12-6pm. Representatives from Turkiye, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tatarishtan, Kirim Turks, Kuzey Iraq, Turkmens, Bashkortostan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Mongolia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Afghanistan, Uyghurs, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia and more. Organized by: Intercultural Dialogue Institute. firstname.lastname@example.org. (416) 260-5885. Montecassino Hotel, 3710 Chesswood Dr, Downsview. (Near by Downsview Subway Station, Sheppard and Dufferin). Food contest, music, folk dances, kids corner, etc. Our blogs about this event: http://bit.ly/1mUtoHb and http://bit.ly/1023rJe.
March 24, 2016 4-8pm. Amnesty International Iranian Action Group Nowruz, Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St (Bathurst Subway Station): http://beitzatoun.org/events/ and http://www.aito.ca/. (416) 363-9933. Iranian refreshments & awareness-raising presentations and more. No charge but donation appreciated. Opportunity to learn about human rights abuses in Iran.
April 1, 2016, 12-3pm. Active Living Centre Persian New Year. Traditional food and entertainment for all to enjoy. Costs: $20 – $29. Website: bit.ly/1oBHIW1. 416-733-4111 ext. 221 or email: email@example.com. North York Seniors Centre – Active Living Centre, 21 Hendon Avenue. Yonge Street and Finch Avenue. Walking distance from Finch subway station.
For more Iranian events, see: http://www.kodoom.com/en/ . Please let us know if there are any affordable ones we’ve missed. Happy Nowruz. Nowruz Mobarak.