Nowruz exhibit celebrates Persian New Year

Persian artifacts displayed in the Nowruz Exhibit

~ By Nancy Barragan, student writer for the College of Arts and Humanities

The Henry Madden Library is hosting an art exhibition in honor of recognizing the Persian New Year called Nowruz. The Nowruz Exhibit features colorful artifacts, books and maps on the second floor of the library in the Diversity Lounge from March 1 – April 28.

The Library Diversity Committee in collaboration with the Persian Cultural Club and the Middle East Studies Program recognizes the United Nations International Day of Nowruz by organizing this art exhibition on campus.

Dr. Negin Tahvildary, who is a lecturer with the Departments of Philosophy and Linguistics and director of Mediator Mentors, has been planning the art exhibition in anticipation of this year’s Nowruz celebration.

Nowruz is a Persian term that means a new day and is a celebration of the vernal equinox. Nowruz takes place every year on March 21 and is celebrated by more than 300 million people worldwide as the beginning of the New Year.

This is the seventh year that Nowruz has been celebrated at Fresno State.

“Every year since 2011 that I have been on campus, we celebrate the day on March 21 in free speech area but the exhibit is unique to this year,” Tahvildary said. “In the past, we have had calligraphy workshops, lectures and music events around this time.”

Tahvildary mentioned that her favorite part of the exhibition is the vibrant colors and diversity represented through the art:

“This is the first New Year for me without both parents, who recently passed away. During this time of the year my mom would have always called to make sure I have got all the items for the Nowruz table, so this year I am showcasing many of the artifacts and books my mom gave me to celebrate Nowruz and glorify her memories as well.”

This art exhibition offers the opportunity for the Fresno State community to become familiarized with this annual tradition that is celebrated in several countries, including  Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and India.

Nowruz has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.

Tahvildary notes that many international students, faculty and professors show up during Nowruz to enjoy the celebration and explore the art exhibition.

More information is available by contacting Tahvildary at


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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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