In 2012 a group I host organized organized a March luncheon with Iranian friends on a theme of the Iranian New Year, Nowruz. The Iranian New Year is celebrated at Spring equinox, that moment in the year when the sun crosses the equator in its journey to its northern zenith, formally launching Spring and renewal in the northern hemisphere.

The following short article from the BBC Cultural Service

The Obscure Religion that Shaped the West


will serve as a reminder of the connectedness of our thought and thinking with the great cultural traditions that preceded our times. These traditions are often simple, even modest ideas that resonated in time with their local communities before becoming objects of cultural expression and spiritual development. They spawned ceremonies, practices and communities of practitioners, perhaps even wars of righteousness and indignation.

As an idea blossoms, is nurtured and grows, so it must in its maturity be picked apart and re-assembled as a memorial practice in the community. What remains are community practices. The original insight and the vitality of the original idea are not diminished through ritual, they are merely transformed.

Atashkadah Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd Iran © Alamy Creative Commons