Happy first day of spring aka Iranian New Years! This is literally one of my favorite days of the year! (Not to mention that today I finally get to fly home and see my family!)
In accordance to one of my blog's intentions, I want to bring to you the bright, colorful, beautiful, and accurate side of Iran, as opposed to what you probably hear in mainstream media! (Also you've all mentioned that you want more posts relating to my culture, so this is for you!)

Photo via TheTehranTimes
Iranian Nowruz, which translates to "New Day," begins with the rebirth of nature--on the first day of Spring! Nowruz has been celebrated by Persians (and many others around the world!) for over 3000 years, and is the biggest holiday of the year!

In addition to "khaane tekaani," or cleaning the house, Iranians give gifts to each other (hence the giveaway!), buy new clothes, and create a "Haft-Seen," (literally translates to: Seven S's) which is a table decorated traditionally with a mirror (symbolizing reflection), goldfish (life and changing of the year), a Qur'an (or a favorite poetry book for non-Muslims) and candles (light and happiness), along with 7 specific things that start with the letter "S" (well, in Farsi!).

These include: Sabzeh, which are green lentil/wheat/barley sprouts grown on a dish and tied with a ribbon (representing the rebirth of the earth); Apples - Seeb (well-being and beauty); Vinegar - Serkeh (patience and old age); Garlic - Seer (medicine/health); Sumac - Sumac (colors of the sunrise signaling a new day); Wheat Paste - Samanoo (strength); Silver Berry - Senjed (beauty, love); Coins - Sekkeh (prosperity); Colored Eggs - Tokhm Morg Rangi, which are decorated with the family (fertility); and Hyacinth - Sonbol (fragrance and spring).

Photos via: (top row): TheTehranTimes // (bottom row): ADayInTheLalz
I'll be uploading our Haftseen once I return home (and maybe after I catch up on a bit of sleep!) on my Facebook page soon, if you want to take a look!

OH right, and of course, the giveaway (haha did you like how I made you read through all of that first?)! As I mentioned before, it is customary to both give gifts and buy new clothes for Iranian Nowruz, so I've teamed up with socially-responsible brands 4 All Humanity, The Anchal Project, and Concrete Polish to bring you pieces that are absolutely beautiful--inside and out! Also, all of these products are one of a kind/limited edition, so you can be the only kid on the block in these amazing pieces!


1: $50 Gift Certificate to Concrete Polish
An incredible brand with such bad-ass handmade jewelry! Every piece is unique and made environmentally-responsibly.

2: Handmade Didi Scarf from the Anchal Project
This non-profit focuses on the intersection of fashion and education for Indian women! Each hand-crafted product supports and empowers these artisans, as proceeds go toward their healthcare, education, and scholarship.

This beautifully-patterned skirt is fair-trade and handmade in Uganda! 4 All Humanity works with cooperatives all over the world to produce beautifully-designed products that are ethically-motivated!

Together, this giveaway is worth $140 and will be awarded to one lucky winner! 

To enter, please comment on this post with your favorite item from each store! For more entries/chances to win, enter below! This giveaway will end on the 13th day of Nowruz, April 2nd at 11:59pm CST.
And, yes, it's an international giveaway! 

Best of luck! 

[giveaway is closed]

I will also be doing a cause feature/shoot with each of the brands in the upcoming days so you can learn about all of the amazing work that they do and the changes they are making all over the world, so stay tuned to hear their inspiring stories! 

OH! And I almost forgot (sorry, it's like 4am heh) you can learn how to say "Happy New Years" to an Iranian, even if you didn't manage to take away anything from this post (aside from the chance to win beautiful and ethical fashion)! 

Happy New Years! = "No-Rooz Mobarak!" 
Happy New Years to You! = "Eid-e Shoma Mobarak!" 

Okay this was quite a bit of info so please don't hesitate to ask any questions or let me know if there is a particular part of Iran you'd like me to focus on in the next 13 day! 

Have a lovely Thursday! 
Best of luck in the giveaway and Eid-e Shoma Mobarak! c;