Celebrate a Vegan Persian New Year
Celebrate Persian New Year by making these Nowruz traditions vegan and eco-friendly.
Last Saturday marked not only the Spring Equinox, but also Nowruz, the Persian New Year. The celebration of Nowruz, which translates to "new day," is heavily rooted in Zoroastrian tradition, with celebrations varying from region to region. Festivities to prepare for the New Year begin in early March and stretch through the 13 days following the first day of spring. Although certain traditions, like fire jumping, aren't easily translated into a home setting, there are a number of different ways to adapt Nowruz customs for your eco-friendly, vegan household.
New Year, New Clean
Spring cleaning, or khane tekani, technically precedes Nowruz, but there's no reason why you can't get a late start on dusting cabinets or shaking out old rugs. For a green clean, dispose of cleaning products with toxic chemicals and replace them with homemade cleaners. Use natural, reusable cleaning supplies, such as cloth rags and multiple-use mops. Cut down on water usage using a tracking matt and sweeping instead of mopping when possible. For a new level of clean, rid your house of any environmentally harmful remnants with a green remodel. Our March+April issue offers a number of helpful suggestions for greening your household. Don't stop at your front door. Various green gardening methods, like drip irrigation and push lawn mowers, help reduce your garden's potentially negative impact on the environment.
Visiting relatives is another Nowruz tradition that can be made eco- and vegan-friendly. If relatives live nearby, consider gathering the family for a leisurely bike ride. Pedaling to your destination is an excellent way to clock in exercise minutes without sacrificing quality family time. If flying is your only option, many airlines offer vegetarian and vegan meals. Contact the company before your flight to ensure that animal-free dishes are available. Interactive green maps allow users to share their favorite eco-friendly recommendations in an area, making it easy to find nearby resources for green living in unfamiliar locales. Most can be downloaded to a phone for portability.
Eat Into the New Year
Holidays typically revolve around food, and Nowruz is no exception. Persian dishes dominate to celebrate the new year, including sabzi polo mahi, rice with fresh herbs and smoked fish, koukou sabzi, an herbed soufflé, and reshteh polo, rice and noodles. Neither sabzi polo mahi nor kookoo sabzi are vegan, but a few easy substitutions can make the dishes cruelty-free. Add smoked tofu to Persian Rice to create an animal-free version of sabzi polo mahi, and mix chives, dill, parsley, and coriander into a simple Tofu Omelet or Squash Soufflé recipe for a vegan take on koukou sabzi. Reshteh polo, a traditional dish that symbolizes good fortune in the year ahead, is easily veganized. Double check to make sure the noodles are dairy- and egg-free, and substitute non-hydrogenated margarine for the butter found in most recipes.
Photo by Luke Thomas, FogCityJournal.com
How to Make Great Vegan Mexican Food at Home
Vegan chef and Mexican food expert, Jason Wyrick, shares his 10 go-to pantry ingredients for great south-of-the-border dishes.
Read More »
Vegan Weddings 2014: Aliya & Michael Weber
Our 2014 wedding couples tied the knot with style, compassion, and great vegan food.
Read More »
10 Creative Ways to Use Nut Butters
Forget peanut butter: this is 2014. Nut butter pro, Robin Robertson, shares 10 innovative uses for everything from cashew to walnut butter.
Read More »
VegNews Exclusive: An Interview with John Joseph
The Meat is for Pussies author and Cro-Mags front man talks meat, men, and meditation in this exclusive VegNews interview.
Read More »
10 Foods to Help Get Rid of Stress
Dealing with stress? Chinese medicine expert Heather Lounsbury shares the best foods for optimal health.
Read More »
- The Sexy Vegans Spicy Korean Burgers
- 10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Santa Barbara
- 3 Cheap Ways to Stock Your Vegan Bar
- How to Eat Vegan on a Budget in London
- 3 Rules for Stellar Homemade Vegan Cheese
- 3 Gluten-Free Summer Potluck Staples
- 3 Delectable Summer Dips
- VNs Top 7 Favorite Summertime Recipes
- Superfoods Kids Love
- How to Veganize Any Recipe: Sweet Edition
- VegNews Guide to Coffee Flavored Food
- How to Veganize Any Recipe: Savory Edition
- VN Guide to a Great Memorial Day Vegan BBQ
- Vegan Spring Break, Part II: Foodie Destinations
- Vegan Bakery Cinnaholic Wins Big on Shark Tank
- A Vegan Mothers Day Your Mom Will Love
- A Vegan Cinco de Mayo Brunch
- VegNews Exclusive: Top Tips for An All-Star Vegan Brunch
- Celebrate Spring with a Vegan Twist
- Guide to Vegan Passover Seder