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Brief history of Noruz
By Ali Asghar Pahlavan
It is not exactly known when and how the festival of Noruz emerged. Some historians believe that natural changes in weathers gave rise to the festivities. Some consider it a national festival, while others regard it as a religious ritual.
According to Zoroastrians, the month of Farvardin (the first month of the Iranian solar calendar) refers to Faravashis, or spirits, which return to the material world during the last 10 days of the year. Thus, they honor the 10-day period in order to appease the spirits of their deceased ancestors. The Iranian tradition of visiting cemeteries on the last Thursday of the year may have originated from this belief.
According to lexicographer Mirza Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, ancient Iranians celebrated a feast called Farvardegan (Farvardyan) that lasted 10 days. Farvardegan was performed at the end of the year and was apparently a mourning ceremony and not a celebration welcoming the rebirth of nature. In ancient times the feast started on the first day of Farvardin (March 21) but it is unclear how long it did last. In royal courts, the festivities continued for one month.
The festival, according to some documents, was observed until the fifth of Farvardin, and then the special celebrations followed until the end of the month. Possibly, in the first five days, the festivities were of a public and national nature, while during the rest of the month it assumed a private and royal character.
Undoubtedly, the Noruz celebrations are an ancient, national Iranian custom, but details of it prior to the Achaemenid era are unknown. There is no mention of it in Avesta - the holy book of Zoroastrians.
In the ancient times, Iran was the cradle of civilizations for thousands of years and regarded as one of the most powerful countries in the world. As time passed, the Empire of Persia disintegrated gradually due to the invasions by the enemies of this land.
As a matter of fact, many glorious cultural, historical, festivals and customs have faded away and only traces of them have remained and several centuries of our homeland history is still in a “state of oblivion, darkness and ambiguity.”
Even until the 19th and 20th centuries, no one knew the spoken languages of ancient Persia as some parts was revealed by foreign Iranologists and linguists who shed light on these uncertainties, but it is not enough and more studies are required.
There is not sufficient information in the history about the great Persian personalities and renowned figures and their traditions and customs. Every now and then and specially when some celebrations took place, the name of them like Noruz and Mehregan festivals in Persian literature have been mentioned. But reliable sources do not confirm them to the extent that even the written documents are not reliable in this particular condition.
Currently, after several thousands of years, Iranians and the people of nine other countries enthusiastically celebrate the Noruz festival, irrespective of their age, language, gender, race, nationality or social status as this festivity knows no boundary.
Noruz in Persian literature
At its core, the Noruz festival celebrates the rebirth of nature. This reawakening symbolizes the triumph of good over the evil forces of darkness, which are represented by winter. Even in both classical and modern Persian literature this transformation to great extent associated with the same connotations.
Noruz is the point when the oppressive presence of the cold winter finally begins to recede with the commencement of the lively and hopeful spring.
This symbolic and romantic change has extensively been expressed in invaluable works of both contemporary and classical Persian poets and writers, which in recent decades have been widely translated into other languages as well.
Persian poems have also been composed which were later performed as songs by great singers from the legendary singer Barbad from the reign of Sassanid King Khosrow Parviz to prominent contemporary classical singers.
Some verses of these poems have even been turned into proverbs by the common people that are used widely in daily conversation.
Photo: An Achaemenid soldier carries a fishbowl and sabzeh (green sprouted seeds), two symbols of Noruz, in a watercolor painting by Ali-Akbar Sadeqi.
I love my mom. She took care of me when I was very young. She took care of me when I was sick. She taught me how to read. She taught me how to get dressed. She taught me how to button my shirt. She taught me how to tie my shoes. She taught me how to brush my teeth. She taught me to be kind to others. She taught me to tell the truth. She taught me to be polite. She took me to school on my first day of school. She held my hand. She helped me with my homework. She was nice to all my friends. She always cheered me up. Next year I will graduate from high school. I will go to college. I will do well in college. I will do well after college. My mom has taught me well.
She was new in town. The town was near the ocean. She wanted to visit the beach. She had a new friend. She asked her new friend to take her to the beach. Her friend said okay. They went to the beach. It was a hot sunny day. The beach was crowded. They put a big towel on the sand. They walked down to the water. They stepped into the water. They got their feet wet. They went back to their towel. They sat on the towel. They looked at the boats and surfers. They looked at the seagulls. They saw some dolphins. A lifeguard walked by. He said hello. He talked to them for a minute. They stayed at the beach all afternoon. They talked with each other. They watched many people having fun. They watched the sun go down. It was huge and orange. It sank into the ocean. They shook the sand out of the towel. They folded the towel and walked back to the car. "That was wonderful," she told her friend. "I like the beach. Thank you for taking me to the beach today."
Los Angeles is a big city. There are millions of people here. But thousands of people have no home. They are homeless people. They live on the sidewalks. They sleep on the sidewalks. They are called street people. They don’t have cars. They have shopping carts. They fill the carts with their belongings. They put their extra clothes into the carts. They put their blankets into the carts. Many homeless people live downtown. They live near the newspaper building. They live near the courthouse. They live near fancy condos. They have no money. They sit on the sidewalk all day. People walk by them. They ask people for money. People say they don’t have any money. There are missions downtown. These missions feed homeless people. They give them free lunches. They feed them every day. Some missions have beds. Homeless people sleep in these beds. But there are more homeless people than beds. There are not enough beds for the homeless people. So most homeless people sleep on the sidewalk. They sleep next to their shopping carts.
Widespread destruction from Japan earthquake, tsunamis
The morning after Japan was struck by the most powerful earthquake to hit the island nation in recorded history and the tsunami it unleashed -- and even as the earth continued to twitch with aftershocks -- the disaster's massive impact was only beginning to be revealed.
Rescue efforts began with the first light as military helicopters plucked survivors from roofs and carried them to safety.
The 8.9-magnitude temblor, which was centered near the east coast of Japan, killed hundreds of people, caused the formation of 30-foot walls of water that swept across rice fields, engulfed entire towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys. Some waves reached six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan's east coast.
A woodpecker is a bird. It is red, white, and black. It has a long sharp beak. This is a special beak. It is stronger than a tree trunk. The woodpecker makes holes in tree trunks. It hits the tree trunk with its sharp beak, again and again. Peck, peck, peck. Peck, peck, peck. It makes a hole in the tree trunk. Then it makes the hole bigger. It makes the hole big enough to sit in. It makes the hole big enough for two birds to sit in. It makes a nest in the hole. It prepares the nest for two baby birds. The mama woodpecker lays two eggs in the nest. She sits on the eggs. Papa woodpecker brings her food. The eggs hatch. Then mama and papa feed the babies. The babies grow up and fly away. Then they find other trees. They make holes in other trees for new baby birds. They make new holes in different trees. Peck, peck, peck. Peck, peck, peck. Why don’t the woodpeckers get headaches? They hit their beaks against a tree trunk all day long. But you never see a woodpecker take aspirin. They must have very hard beaks. They must have very hard heads.
Many people love to watch basketball. The Lakers are a great basketball team. The Clippers are a terrible basketball team. Both teams call Los Angeles their home. They play at the Staples Center. The Staples Center is new. It is a shiny new arena. It is in downtown Los Angeles. It is next to two freeways. It is next to the 110 freeway. It is next to the 10 freeway. The 110 goes north and south. The 10 goes east and west. Many basketball fans take the freeways to Staples Center. They drive their cars on the crowded freeways. The crowded freeways have too many cars. The fans park their cars in the huge parking lot. Parking is not cheap. It is $22. The fans walk to the arena from the parking lot. They buy their tickets. The cheap tickets are $10. The expensive tickets are $2,600. Rich people buy the expensive tickets. Poor people buy the cheap tickets. The rich people sit very close to the basketball court. They talk to the players. The poor people sit far away from the basketball court. They talk to each other.
She likes magazines. She likes to look at the pretty photos. Magazines have photos of people. They have photos of animals. They have photos of clothes. They have photos of food. She sees a photo of a hamburger. It looks so delicious. The photo of the hamburger makes her hungry. She goes to the refrigerator. She opens it. She wants a hamburger. But there is no hamburger in the refrigerator. The hamburger is at McDonald’s. But she is a little kid. She can’t drive to McDonald’s. She can’t call McDonald’s, because they don’t deliver. A hamburger place is not like a pizza parlor. A pizza parlor delivers. Her mom was at work. She would have to wait until mom came home. Mom would drive her to McDonald’s. She sat down again. She turned the page. There was a photo of chocolate ice cream. The ice cream was in a cone. Oh, what a beautiful photo. She licked her lips. It looked so delicious. Mom, please come home soon, she thought.
He has a headache. His headache started an hour ago. His head feels like it will explode. Of course, his head wouldn’t explode. It just feels that way. The headache is in the back of his head. That is where his headaches usually are. Sometimes he has headaches on the top of his head. Sometimes he has headaches in the front of his head. Sometimes his headaches are between his eyes. Sometimes his whole head hurts. But usually the back of his head hurts. His headache started while he was reading. Reading causes headaches for him. He hates his headaches, but he loves to read. He reads for only 15 minutes. Then he stops reading. He takes a break. If he reads for 16 minutes, he’ll get a headache. So he tries to take a break every 15 minutes. But sometimes he forgets to take his break. Today he forgot to take a break. Now he must wait until the headache goes away. It will take an hour or two. Then he can read again. But right now he must live with the pain.
There was a bus accident. The bus accident was near a dam. The bus ran off the road. The bus tipped over. Two people died. Eight people were hurt. The bus driver was going too fast. The road is a two-lane road. It is a narrow road. It isn’t a wide road. The road is not straight. It bends a lot. It curves a lot. The road looks like a snake. The speed limit is 25 mph. The bus was going 50 mph. The passengers were afraid. The bus ran into a guard rail. Then the bus tipped over. Passengers yelled. Passengers screamed. Passengers fell down. Passengers fell on other passengers. Luggage flew through the air. Luggage hit people. Luggage hit people in the face. Luggage hit people in the head. The windows broke. The windshield broke. Glass was everywhere. Bodies were everywhere. Luggage was everywhere. The ambulances came. They took people to the hospital. The police came. They took the driver to jail.
She will write a letter to her grandma. She will write about her day at school. She will write about her classmates. She will write about her teacher. She will write about the classroom. She will write about her school bus. She will write about her school bus driver. She won’t write about her pets. She won’t write about her fat black cat. She won’t write about her little red dog. She won’t write about her soft white rabbit. She won’t write about her big brown horse. That’s because she doesn’t have a big brown horse. Not yet. She wants a big brown horse for her birthday. She will write a letter to her daddy about the horse. She will ask her daddy for a big brown horse. A big brown horse will be a perfect birthday gift. She will never want another birthday gift. A horse will make her happy forever. The letter to her daddy will ask for a horse. Maybe daddy will give her a horse. Then she will write a new letter to her grandma. She will tell grandma about the new brown horse.
Wash your hands. Wash your hands often. Wash your hands ten times a day. Clean hands fight germs. Clean hands look good. Clean hands smell good. Everything you touch has germs. Money has germs. Germs live on money for days. Paper money is dirty. Metal money is dirty. Folding money is dirty. Coins are dirty. Everyone touches money. Sick people touch money. Wash your hands after you touch money. Door handles are dirty. Germs live on door handles for weeks. Germs love door handles. Everyone touches door handles. Sick people touch door handles. Wash your hands after you touch door handles. People are dirty. People have germs. Germs love people. Germs live on people for months. Wash your hands after you touch other people. Wash your hands after you hug other people. Wash your hands after you shake hands with other people. Wash your hands, and wash some more. You can’t wash your hands too often.
We have a nice house. It has three bedrooms. It has three bathrooms. It is a one-story house. It doesn’t have any stairs. It doesn’t have a second floor. It doesn’t have a basement. It does have an attic. It has a chimney and a fireplace. It has a kitchen. It has a dining room. It has a living room. The living room has a big sofa and a big TV. Our living room is our family room. We watch TV together. We play games together. We play games like Scrabble and Monopoly. We enjoy those games. They are fun to play. We have a small front yard. We have a big back yard. We don’t have a swimming pool. We don’t have a garden. We have a two-car garage. My mom has a blue Cadillac. My dad has a red Honda. I have a bicycle and a skateboard. My sister does, too. She’s a good skateboarder, for a girl. We live on a quiet street. We never hear police sirens or fire sirens. I go to a nice school. Someday I will get married. I will own a nice house on a quiet street. And I will have a swimming pool in the back yard.
Today was her lucky day. She was late for the bus. But the bus was late, too. So she didn’t miss her bus. She was late for work. But her boss was late, too. So her boss didn’t know that she was late. She didn’t have any cash for lunch. But her friend had a two-for-one lunch coupon. So she got a free lunch. Her boss was feeling a little sick. He told everyone to take the afternoon off. She went to the park. A green piece of paper was under the park bench. She picked it up. It was a $5 bill. She looked around. Where did the money come from? There was no one around. She was the only one in the park. There were some birds and squirrels in the park. But this was not their money. This was her money. It was her lucky money. She went across the street to the liquor store. The lottery jackpot was worth $10 million. She bought five lottery tickets. She knew that one of them would be lucky. This was her lucky day.
He was poor. He needed more money. He needed a good job. He had a job. But it wasn’t a good job. It was a bad job. He was a waiter. He worked in a restaurant. It was a cheap restaurant. The meals were cheap. The customers were cheap. They usually gave him quarters for tips. Sometimes they gave him a dollar. Sometimes they gave him nothing. That made him angry. Why did they give him nothing? He was polite. He was helpful. Yet they gave him nothing. He wanted to kick those customers. But then he would go to jail. He didn’t want to go to jail. So he went to school. School was free. He wanted to be a mechanic. He liked to fix things. He wanted to fix cars. He wanted to own a car shop. He would make money. He would hire other mechanics. They would work for him. He would buy a house. He would get married. He would have a family. Life would be good. Right now life was bad. But he would make it better.
He loved his plants. His plants were in pots. There were 10 pots in back of the house. There were eight pots in front of the house. There was a different plant in every pot. No plants were the same. They were all different. They were all beautiful. It was Friday. It was time to water the plants. He watered the plants once a week. He went outside. He grabbed the hose. It was green and long. It was about 40 feet long. He turned on the water. Water came out of the end of the hose. He watered each plant in back of the house. He watered each plant until the soil was dark and wet. He watered each plant until the soil was soft. Then he went out front. The hose out front was also green. It was 30 feet long. He watered all the plants out front. Puddles of water were around each pot. There were 8 puddles of water out front. Butterflies and bees visited the wet plants. He watched for a while. Then he went back inside. Next week he would water the plants again.
Once upon a time, a man and his wife had the good fortune to have a goose which laid a golden egg every day. Lucky though they were, they soon began to think they were not getting rich fast enough.
They imagined that if the bird must be able to lay golden eggs, its insides must be made of gold. And they thought that if they could get all that precious metal at once, they would get mighty rich very soon. So the man and his wife decided to kill the bird.
However, upon cutting the goose open, they were shocked to find that its innards were like that of any other goose!
MORAL: THINK BEFORE YOU ACT
The economy is bad. People are out of work. People are losing their jobs. People are getting laid off. People are getting fired. People want to work. But nobody is hiring workers. Nobody needs workers. Everyone has less money. Everyone is spending less. Everyone is buying less. Consumers are not buying anything extra. They are buying only what they need. They are not buying new cars. They are keeping their old cars. They are not buying new homes. They are staying in their old homes. They are not buying new clothes. They are wearing their old clothes. They are not taking vacations. They are staying home. They are not going to restaurants. They are doing things that are cheap. They go to the library. They go to the park. They go to the museum. They go to the beach. They stay home and watch TV. Life is hard. Life is tough. Everyone hopes the economy will get better soon. They hope the bad times will go away soon.
Ibn-e Abi Obaydeh Saghafi “Mokhtar” (67 AH), was called Keysan, is from Tae’f. He went to Medina along with his father during Omar’s Caliphate. In Yamul Hajr Battle his father was killed in Iraq.
Then; Mokhtar joined to Banihashem tribe, during Imam Ali (as)’s caliphate, he was with him in Iraq and after Imam’s martyrdom he left there for Basrah. When he informed about Imam Hussein (AS)’s martyrdom in Karbala, he disaccord with Obeydullah.
Obeydullah jailed him and ordered to whip him. Then Abdullah Omar interceded for him with caliph and he was exiled to Ta’ef. In 64 (AH), Yazid Ibn-e Moaviyeh died and Mokhtar swore allegiance with Abdullah Ibn-e Zobayr and attended in most of Zobayr’s battles. Then Mokhtar requested Zobayr to let him to go to Kufah for inviting people to swear allegiance with caliph. When he arrived in Kufah, killed all of Imam Husein (AH)’s murderers and occupied there.
Obeydulla Ibn-e Ziyad was charged to attack Kufah but he was killed in the battle and Mokhtar sent his head to Imam Sajad (AS) in Medina. It is narrated that Imam Sajad (AS) invoked God’s blessing for him. Then Mosa’b, who was Zobayr’s brother, attacked to Kufah and Mokhtar was killed in this battle.
What you can do for improving your language ? Let's see ...
▪ Be patient with yourself. Keep in mind that learning a language is a gradual process - it does not happen overnight.
▪ Define your learning objectives early: What do you want to learn and why?
▪ Make learning a habit. Try to learn something every day. It is much better to study (or read, or listen to English news, etc.) for ten minutes each day than to study for two hours once a week.
▪ Choose your materials well. You will need reading, grammar, writing, speaking and listening materials. ESL Pro Systems offers a full range of excellent study materials that can help you improve your English faster.
▪ Vary your learning routine. It is best to do different things each day to help keep the various relationships between each area active. In other words, don't just study grammar-study all the language skills.
▪ Find friends to study and speak with. Learning English together can be very encouraging. In addition, try to make friends with native speakers. If you don't live in an English environment, try to interact with people that speak only English. Go to businesses where English is spoken and try to ask for help in English. Don't look for a person that might help you in your own language.
▪ Choose listening and reading materials that relate to what you are interested in. Begin reading magazines and publications that use fairly easy language such as
Helping young children cope with frustration @H=By Lisa Medoff
One of the best lessons that you can help your young child learn over the years is how to cope with frustration. As they move through school, children will be asked to do increasingly challenging tasks that are at or beyond the limits of their capabilities; they will inevitably encounter frustration, both in academic and social arenas. In fact, the gulf between successful and unsuccessful children will not necessarily arise due to differences in intelligence and skills, but rather due to differences in ability to handle setbacks and persist in the face of frustration.
Preschool children do not have very much experience dealing with frustration, as all of their needs have always been met by their caregivers. They haven't yet acquired all of the language skills that they need to express themselves verbally, and they also lack the brain development that enables adults to label and regulate emotions and how those emotions are expressed. In order for children to develop both the verbal and social/emotional skills that they need, it's important that they be encounter situations that involve a small, manageable amount of frustration.
Preschoolers can get easily overwhelmed, and need a lot of assistance in terms of breaking down problems into manageable parts, a key step in handling frustrating situations. Children that do not learn how to deal with frustration early in life may encounter later problems, such as lack of confidence, anxiety, anger, trouble with friends, and difficulty trying new things. If they do not know how to tolerate and cope with frustration, children will always expect others to solve their problems and will give up in the face of the first sign of difficulty. Here are some tips for helping your child cope with frustration:
Keep calm. When you see your child become frustrated, try not to mirror that frustration in your own voice or behaviors. Instead, focus on staying calm and talking your child through the situation in a gentle voice, guiding her to mirror you. Acknowledge that she is frustrated, but stress the importance of continuing to try to do something that she finds difficult.
Set challenges. Look for opportunities to challenge your children. Routinely ask them to do things that are slightly beyond what they have been capable of doing in the past. Do not jump in to help them. If you see them struggling, instead of immediately helping, try to prompt them by offering hints to make the situation easier. If they are really having difficulty and do not seem to be making any progress after a few minutes, break the task down into small steps. If necessary, guide them through or even do the first step for them, and then back off again. Your child should be hearing the following phrase quite often: “Try it yourself first and if you can’t do it, then I’ll help you get started.”
More than 100 passengers got on the plane. It was a winter day. It was January. The weather was very cold. It was snowing. Ice was on the roads. But the airport was open. The big jets were flying. A little snow never stopped a big jet. Big jets fly all the time. They rarely crash in bad weather. They rarely crash in good weather. Big jets are very safe. The passengers got on the plane. It was 7 a.m. The plane was supposed to take off at 7:30 a.m. It did not take off at 7:30 a.m. It did not take off all morning. It did not take off all afternoon. The plane sat on the runway until 6:30 p.m. The passengers sat in the plane all day. The plane could not take off. The pilot could not see the runway. He could not see anything. The only thing he could see was his two hands. A little snow was okay. But this was a lot of snow. This was too much snow. But maybe the snow would stop. Then they could take off. So the pilot waited. The passengers waited. At 6:30 p.m., the pilot told the passengers to get off the plane. Everyone was happy to leave the plane. They went back into the airport. They waited for the snow to stop. But it didn’t stop. It snowed for two more days.