It's the first day of spring throughout the northern hemisphere. And for Iranians and other cultures and countries in Central Asia, the day is very important. Today is Nowruz. Here in studio with me is my co-worker Kaveh, who is Iranian-American. And I thought we could talk about how you celebrate Nowruz in America.

Hi Kaveh.

Hi Ashley.

Eide Nowruz Mobarak.

Thank you, Ashley.

You're welcome! Did I say that right?

You did.

Okay. So can you talk a little bit about how you and your family are celebrating today?

Nowruz for us is our new year. It means "new day." In Iran, it's celebrated for two weeks. And during this time, families clean out their houses, they put on fresh new clothing, and they visit friends and family members. But here in the U.S., we celebrate it a little bit differently. We get together on Nowruz with our family, we make food and eat together and spend time together; and we also celebrate the first day of spring, which is a new beginning for us.

One of the very important things for Nowruz is the "haft seen." "Haft seen" means "seven s's," so seven items that start with the letter "s."

That's correct, Ashley. "Haft seen" is our tabletop arrangement. And it's the seven symbolic items that we use to display Nowruz. It's very beautiful, because there are many items in there with various vibrant colors. It's sort of like the American Christmas tree during the Christmas holiday season here in the U.S.

So we have the first "seen," which is "sabzeh," which kind of means "green vegetable," in a way?

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