On this first day of spring…

Today marks the first day of spring, the first day of the new astrological year, and the first day of the Persian calendar. There is a three millennia old tradition celebrated by millions of people in Persia, Central Asia, and India on this day called Nowruz. Rumi, like many residents of these regions, was also very much fond of this holiday and have alluded to it in numerous poems. It is fitting to quote one on this auspicious occasion:

Gratitude for the Sun to have entered into Aries,
           blessed  the heart and souls with its light fertility

Gratitude for Moses to have escaped all the pharaohs,
           to have returned to Mount Sinai,
           the appointed site of union

Jesus of the soul arrived and breathed upon Lazarus.
           By that miracle,
           Lazarus was resurrected from his grave.

Solomon arrived again, demons and fairies gathered,
           revealed upon them
           his Seal and his commandment

Oh cupbearer, if you want to hear the end of this
           Pour some talking wine
           upon my drunken lips

~translation of the ghazal #1271 from Divan Shams on ganjoor

It is interesting to notice that back in the days, right after at the vernal equinox, Sun would enter the Aries constellation. However, astronomically speaking, because of the Earth’s axial wobbling, the vernal equinox has been moving westward continuously such that nowadays during this equinox Sun is actually in the Pisces!

Through this Zoroastrian tradition, Rumi, parallelizes the cyclical nature of renewal of life in the natural world with the hagiographical accounts of the prophets of the Abrahamic traditions. The prophet of love and intoxication, Rumi, sees an eternal ever flowing spring of love at the core of existence that energizes all that exists. Happy Spring!

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