The ancient, Zoroastrian New Year begins on March 21st - the spring equinox. Tradition says it dates back 15,000 years to before that last ice age when we transitioned from hunter gatherers to farmers. Nor Rooz begins with spring cleaning and the laying of the Hafseen - ancient symbolic representations. Here is our table..
There is a tradition of buying new clothes and of exchanging gifts like we do at Christmas and the traditional meal on the first day of the festival is fish and rice which we shall have tonight. New Year itself is celebrated over 12 days in which people visit family, friends and neighbours. The end of the festival - the 13th day is marked by a picnic.
I can't help but think that this is a much better way of starting a new year than beginning it in the depths of winter. I also like the symbolism created and passed on over the millennia which connects the present to the past. This Youtube video provides a good explanation of the festival and its traditions.