The local interfaith group celebrates festivals throughout the year from all around the world. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

The local interfaith group celebrates festivals throughout the year from all around the world. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Food, dance and more at Persian New Year festival celebration in Maple Ridge

Local church to host the event

Those who are already nostalgic for New Year’s festivities have another chance to join the celebration, this time it will be Persian style.

Persian-Canadians and others in the community will be gathering on Saturday, March 26, at the Open Door Church in Maple Ridge to celebrate Nowruz, also known as the Persian New Year.

Typically observed in Iran and Afghanistan on March 20, the celebration involves traditions such as creating a ‘haft-seen’ – a table decorated with seven items symbolizing spring and renewal.

Organized by Maple Ridge-based Building Interfaith Bridges, there’s a full-course dinner, along with dance, music, and traditional activities. Individuals and families of all cultures are invited to participate.

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Nowruz celebrations have already started at the local organization, shared Carolina Echeverri, Local Immigration Partnership Secretariat. Members of the non-profit jumped over the fire as part of the Nowruz festivities. It is believed in the Zorastrian religion that hopping over a fire brings good luck and health in the new year.

Pastor Bradley Christianson Barker, of Open Door Church, said that his team is honoured to be able to host and support interfaith work.

“It helps is gain a deeper understanding of others,” he added.

The two-hour-long event will start at noon and is currently limited to 50 seatings. About 50 per cent of seats are still available.

Entry to the event is by donation, and people can register for the event by visiting the group’s Eventbrite page at eventbrite.ca/e/nowruz-celebration.

Funded by Building Interfaith Bridges is a multicultural group that frequently meets to initiate interfaith dialogues and celebrate cultural festivals of people worldwide.

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Due to COVID, many of the groups’ services had to be moved online, but Echeverri said that she is happy to be able to return to in-person events.

“Our group is comprised of people of different faiths but individuals with no faith can join us, too,” she added.

Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through Local Immigration Partnership (LIP), the interfaith project serves the communities of Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Katzie First Nations.

For more information on the Nowruz celebration and upcoming events, people can visit www.ridgemeadowsnewcomers.com or contact the iterfaith group via their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/interf8th/.

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The local interfaith group celebrates festivals throughout the year from all around the world. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

The local interfaith group celebrates festivals throughout the year from all around the world. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Carolina Echeverri is the Local Immigration Partnership Secretariat and one of team members of Building Interfaith Bridges. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Carolina Echeverri is the Local Immigration Partnership Secretariat and one of team members of Building Interfaith Bridges. (Special to Langley Advance Times)