Welcome to the 8th Annual Austin Nowruz Festival at Central Market! This year's festival will be bigger and better than ever! Spring is almost here and we want to celebrate the Spring Equinox, which is also celebrated across the world as Persian New Year or other variations of it (Nowruz/Norooz/Nevruz/Navruz) all the way from Western China and Southwest Asia to the parts of the Balkans and the Caucasus. We have a great line up for this year which includes our regular popular Austin bands the 1001 Nights Orchestra who just released a new CD, Austin’s award-winning world music band Atash, UT Middle Eastern Ensemble Bereket, and the Ravaan Persian Dance Company. As always there will be a Henna Booth by Megan and a kid's coloring table by Austin Persian Lessons.There will be other surprises this year, which are being finalized. We’ll announce them soon! As every year, Central Market café will be cooking some delicious food based on the traditions of these regions. We also have a henna booth, children’s drawing table, and of course the special Nowruz “Haft-Seen” table. The Haft-Seen table is a altar-like spread that includes various items symbolizing health, wealth, prosperity, peace, purity, and other positive human virtues. These items such as a plate of sprouting wheat, candles, a mirror, colored eggs, etc. are ancient symbols of Nowruz and can also be seen shared with some other religions and ceremonies. This year, we are having a contest for the best Haft-Seen table. Basically, once you have put together your spread, you need to take a photo of it, preferably with you also in it. And post it to this event page. People and the event producers will vote and comment on it and the best one will be selected near Nowruz. The winner gets to bring and display their Nowruz table at Central Market for all to enjoy, and will get a $100 gift certificate from Central Market. We will update you with the exact times each group goes on stage. But, in general we recommend arriving early as parking and tables can get full fast. Past Nowruz festivals have drawn an audience in excess of 1000 people. The Nowruz festival is the second most popular event at Central Market. The event is rain or shine. A covered patio will be utilized in case of rain. The event is completely free and open to the public. Children and families are encouraged to attend! See you all out there and happy Nowruz everyone!
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