PALMDALE – Organizers are gearing up for a Persian New Year 2014 Celebration, which takes place this Friday.
More than 200 people, including Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, Mayor Pro Tem Tom Lackey and State Senator Steve Knight, will pack the Chimbole Cultural Center for authentic Persian cuisine, live music, special performances by drummers and dancers, and more.
The Persian New Year 2014 Celebration takes place from 6 to 11:30 p.m., Friday, March 28, at the Chimbole Cultural Center, located at 38350 Sierra Highway in Palmdale. There will be a social/cocktail session at 6 p.m.; live music starting at 7 p.m.; dinner at 8 p.m.; a special performance at 9 p.m.; and DJ music and dancing starting at 9:30 p.m.
To attend, you must purchase tickets in advance. No tickets will be available at the door. Click here for more information on how to purchase tickets.
“It’s another excuse to dress up and go have a good time, enjoy a new culture, and at the same time, support a good cause, which is to help kids go to college,” said event organizer Barzin Omidi. “All the proceeds from this event go to the ‘Chasing Your Dreams’ scholarship fund. I believe we’re going to be able to do five or six scholarships out of this event.” (Read more about the scholarship program here.)
Norooz (meaning ”New Day”) marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Iranian/Persian calendar. In Iran, Norooz is an official holiday lasting for 13 days, while corresponding traditional celebrations take place. Read more on the history here.
Norooz is celebrated and observed principally in Iran, but has spread to many other parts of the world. Norooz is also widely referred to as the “Persian New Year”.
“Last year, a few of us got together and said ‘there’re Persian New Year’s celebrations everywhere – Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Orange County, New York – how come we don’t have one in the Antelope Valley?’” Omidi said. “[Last year] we put one together with the goal of having 100 people, and we had 222 people and 22 sponsors. This year, we have 34 sponsors, and we’re well over 200 [people], so it took off.”
The video above shows highlights of the inaugural Persian New Year Celebration in 2013. View the list of local sponsors for this year’s event here.
“It’s definitely not just a Persian event,” Omidi added. “A true cultural community event is open to everybody; and a lot of people are interested in learning more about the Persian culture, the food, the music and the tradition.”
For more information on the second annual Persian New Year 2014 Celebration, visit http://persiannewyears.org/.