Happy Easter!

Once a year I have the pleasure of celebrating Easter, a holiday, which I greatly appreciate, and looking back have always appreciated a lot. I don’t think that I ever did go to an Easter service, but I sure did learn about the religious significance of the holiday. I guess the pagan traditions are the ones that are closest to my heart for this celebration.

I have a very fond memory of Easter, many Easter have left their trace in my memory, while many others have passed almost unnoticed.

One of these memories came back in full force with the passing away of my mother. It must be my first memory of Easter. Here is the image that I had in my head over the last few days: Continue reading “Happy Easter!”

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Discovering Traditions: Novruz – Spring festival in Azerbaijan by Dr Gulara Vincent

Discovering Tradition

The 21st of March marks the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Today, I am happy to welcome back Gulara Vincent for this lovely guest contribution to Discovering Traditions, you can find her previous guest post here, and an overview of this blog’s guest posts here.


Novruz – Spring festival in Azerbaijan by Dr Gulara Vincent

Novruz is the spring festival dearly loved and widely celebrated in Azerbaijan (and many other countries too). When I was a child, it was not an official holiday. The Soviet Union disapproved of my country’s fire-worshipping and pagan festivities. People kept it going for seven decades though. In 1993, it became an official holiday in a newly-independent Azerbaijan.

Although Novruz is celebrated on 20-21 March, the spring festival begins a month in advance. First, all households had a massive spring clearing. We washed everything: bedding, windows, walls, expensive dishes displayed in cupboards, candelabras and floors. We also cleared rugs and carpets, mended clothes and made or bought new ones. New trees were planted and gardens were tidied up. Families visited their dead relatives’ graveyards to pay their respects. Continue reading “Discovering Traditions: Novruz – Spring festival in Azerbaijan by Dr Gulara Vincent”