Spring means Persian New Year

When the clock strikes 9:15 a.m. PST on Tuesday, March 20, it will be the year 1397. Really, 1397—on the Persian calendar. The Persian New Year, or Norooz, begins at the moment of the vernal equinox, the start of spring. Globally, millions of people celebrate this ancient holiday with traditions that are like all the holidays wrapped into one—including Easter, Christmas and Halloween. Get a humorous crash course on it via the documentary Nowruz: Lost & Found by half-Iranian comedian K-von. Locally, expand your cultural awareness and your stomach by visiting one of the area’s Persian restaurants. At Famous Kabob (1290 Fulton Avenue, Suite C) and M. Shahrzad Fine Persian Cuisine (2931 Sunrise Boulevard, Suite 125 in Rancho Cordova), vegans can try the veg kabobs, torshi (pickled vegetables), faloodeh (noodles in icy, sweet rosewater and lemon juice), zereshk polo (Basmati rice, saffron and barberries), gormeh sabzee (green herb stew with kidney beans) and Shirazi salad, but don’t forget the tadeeg (crispy rice)!