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Assyrian New Year

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Assyrian New Year (festival, traditions, history, meaning, rituals,  akitu).The Assyrian New Year is normally stated as Kha b’Nissan. It’s the most vital Assyrian National holiday, and its celebration is one of the numerous connections between ancient and fashionable Assyrians.

Assyrian New Year (festival, traditions, history, meaning, rituals,  akitu)
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Assyrian New Year (festival, traditions, history, meaning, rituals,  akitu)


It was the tradition of our ancestors, the inhabitants of Bet-Nahrain (Mesopotamia), to celebrate the New Year annually on the First day of Nisan (April), a celebration of revival and renewal of nature. This was one of the foremost vital spiritual and national celebrations celebrated in Bet-Nahrain. A number of the delicious dishes and favorites embrace dolma, kabob, and pastry.

Many people prefer to honor their roots by dressing up in ancient custom vesture and collaborating in public dance in parks and streets.

One of the favorite elements of the celebration is poetry. Ancient and modern poets inside the Assyrian community recite stunning words around themes of spring, love, unity, community, and cultural pride.


While several of the traditional traditions are retired, one that has survived is the tradition of Diqna d’Nissan, which means “the beard of Spring.” Annually, Assyrian ladies and young girls gather flowers and herbs that are then set up from the roof of their homes. Honor this tradition by attending flower workshops named AUAF.

Elaborate processions were one of the most feats of the festival. Another custom was the observation of mass marriages. A large range of wedding ceremonies passed off on the same day in many alternative cities across the geographical regions of Assyria. Couples were married in teams at a time, and later the brides would pay a visit to each place in their town wherever they’d receive blessings and gifts. These gifts were then shared among the brides of every cluster.

Fortune-telling (storytelling) and gambling were important elements of Akitu celebrations, as were poetry and storytelling.

Traditional dishes:Assyrian New Year

Ham is usually a vacation centerpiece, however, pork is specifically thought to bring sensible luck on legal holiday Day. First, it’s to try and second the pigs behave differently than other animals.

Consistent with some theorists, whereas chickens and turkeys scratch backward, a pig buries his snout into the bottom and moves forward in the same direction you would like to go within the New Year. One more reason is logistics: Pigs are historically slaughtered in late fall, which makes pork a perfect option to put aside for celebrating the New Year. Finally, pork (and cabbage) are cooked on the new year’s holiday. It may be a German and European tradition dropped in America by early settlers. Begin your New Year off right with these Barbecue Pork Sandwiches With crisp slaw.

Right after the pork usually, the dish comes in is some sort of cabbage. This tradition hails from Germany and Europe and is adapted in easy ways: A late fall harvest in addition to a six-to-eight-week freezing process implies that the dish is simply prepared once new year holiday rolls around. Cabbage on the New Year’s holiday is additionally steeped in symbolism—the strands of cabbage in a dish or slaw will symbolize long life, whereas cabbage also can represent cash.


In ancient Sumer the year was divided into 2 “seasons” – a “summer” season, which began during the vernal (spring) season, and a “winter” season, which began during the autumnal season. These were marked by 2 agricultural festivals marking the sowing of barley in time of year and therefore the cutting of barley in spring.

In Ancient Mesopotamia, agricultural life competes for a key role in the economy of the Fertile Crescent. This style was delineated within the lavish celebrations of the Assyrians throughout the twelve days of the New Year celebration, one for every month of  the year.This oldest celebration of the latest Year, acted as a doctrine 2 totally different approaches to handle the beliefs and governing structure of the society.

As it comes from spring and the renewal of nature and life, it originated as a nature festival, with options at the same time expressing nature’s grief at the death of all growing things and its joy at their rebirth. The celebration also acted as a political device used by the autarchy and the central community to ensure the domination of the king, the national god, and his capital town. Politics and faith in Assyria were irrevocably tangled. The arrival of the spring season was celebrated lavishly in the city for twelve days, documented because of the New Year festivals.

For twelve days starting with the first day of the Nisan, because the day of the season, totally different enactments were performed by the general public, the priest and even the king sent these vital massages. Death is conquered; life has once more risen from the cold and dark days of winter; spring has come and good has won over evil. In Babylonian era, the festival came to be dedicated to Marduk’s victory over the Semitic deity.

People from totally different cities brought the statues of their gods and goddesses in an exceedingly sacred procession to the town of Babylon. Although they believed in gods as forces of nature, despite the contrary beliefs, they’d the first sophisticated monotheistic belief, and it had been due to this belief system, that this Assyrian nation as an entire, was the primary to convert to Christianity.

Akitu Festival Celebrations

Ancient Assyrians-Babylonians celebrated the Akitu celebration on twelve consecutive days. Here is what was happening daily.

Day 1 of Akitu festival:

At the moment, Assyrians dedicate their time to wishing to the Gods, they’ll begin making ready for the second day’s festivities.

Day 2 of Akitu festival:

Before sunrise, the high priest would take a shower within the river; once he came out, he would place on a white dress to symbolize purity. Then he enters the temple to wish the Gods to bless him and bless the state. Then the different priests would enter the temple and begin praying.

Day 3 of Akitu festival:

Before sunset, priests would be praying, then all people would be a part of the prayers. Then the king would bring the sculpture of Nabu son of Marduk and take it within the temple to be idolized.

Day 4 of Akitu festival:

The High King is said as priests begin telling stories concerning the creation. the overall public would be singing and diversion. at the moment may be a day of memorial and celebration.

Day 5 of Akitu festival:

The general public would gather on the sting of the stream to cook and eat and celebrate whereas awaiting the arrival of the king. On his arrival, the king would be attended to the temple by the High Priest. There, the king can start his throne, his imperial robe, and kneel before the Gods and tell them that he has no sin or ill-feeling against them, his individuals, and his kingdom. this is often an emblem of humbleness. Then the priest settles for the king’s confession and places his Royal apparel back on, and acquaints him with the general public and therefore the celebration starts once more.

Day 6 of Akitu festival:

The priest brings all God’s statues from all the cities and organizes them within the temple.

Day 7 of Akitu festival:

At the moment, God Marduk would disappear, no one would apprehend his whereabouts. this implies he visited to fight with god Tiamat. He’s confined within the mountains of the universe, then God Semitic deity with different Gods can get on a mission to rescue him.

Day 8 of Akitu festival:

At that moment, the king would hold the hand of God Marduk and introduce him to different gods. Then all those Gods would offer their power to Marduk, and he becomes the Supreme God.

Day 9 of Akitu festival:

Day 9 would see an enormous procession. The king is going to be before and Gods would be in procession floats, coated with gold and precious blue stones. within the 1st float, there’ll be four priests to help God Bel-Merodach. The second float would be the royal carriage drawn by 3 horses, followed by different floats.

Day 10 of Akitu festival:

Marduk starts celebrating his success at the side of the Gods of Heaven and earth. At the top of the feast and celebration, would come to the capital town to begin the Holy bridal ceremony. This wedding is to confirm the fertility of the land.

Day 11 of Akitu festival:

At the moment, the Gods would perform a ritual of Determination of the Destiny of humanity for the approaching year.

Day Twelve of the Akitu festival: Final day of the celebration of the New Year.


Kha b’Nissan wasn’t only the first day of the year, however, it marked the beginning of Spring. Throughout this point, trees and flowers would begin to bloom once more. As such, the vacation was an emblem of revival, a major part of ancient Assyrian mythology. Several Assyrians viewed the moment annually because of the “Start of a New Life.”

Assyrian mythology tells of a story wherever the god of affection marries the vegetation god. Their unity, which occurred throughout the spring season, ensured the renewal of life, blessing the planet with fertility. This story was central to the Akitu celebrations.


Some rituals are followed as annually, Assyrian ladies and women gather flowers and herbs that are then arranged from the root of their homes Kha b-Nisan by holding a great event as well as parades and parties. They roll up clubs and public places and hear the poets World Health Organization recite the story of creation. The boys and girls wear their traditional clothes and dance together in parks for hours.

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