Photo Essay: Persian New Year 2016 celebrated at L.A.’s Persian Square
Several thousand Los Angeles area Iranian Americans of various faiths gathered in a close off block of Westwood Village known as “Persian Square” on March 27th to celebrate the secular Persian new year of “No Ruz”. It is an ancient Persian holiday marking the start of spring each year and is celebrated by Jews, Muslims, Christians and other Iranians with a message of renewal, peace and co-existence. Festivities in Westwood Village this year included traditional Persian food, music and speeches from local elected officials L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz including Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch, and L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin.
“This is a very special celebration in our area every year because you very rarely see people of so many different religions come together with so much love and friendship for one another– we in the Persian community are very proud to have this kind of display of harmony,” said Joe Shooshani, an Iranian Jewish Beverly Hills Public Works Commissioner. On March 18th the L.A. City Council also celebrated No Ruz with an official Persian New Year Proclamation at L.A. City Hall in downtown which hosted several hundred Iranian American businessmen and community leaders. With so much division in the city of Los Angeles among so many different groups, the No Ruz celebrations make me proud that there are still events and gathers in the city that bring us together no matter what our backgrounds may be…that's a special gift from L.A.'s Iranian American community! No Ruz Mobarak to you all!
The following are just some of snapshots I captured of the day’s festivities this year…
(The traditional “Haf Seen” table set during No Ruz to honor different symbols of the New Years blessings)
(left to right; Iranian Jewish activist David Rahimian and Iranian Jewish Beverly Hills City Public Works Commissioner Joe Shooshani, photo by Karmel Melamed)
(You know L.A. area Iranian accident attorneys have invaded your No Ruz celebrations when you see signs like these up!)