Iranians Celebrate Nowruz in Istanbul in the Late Ottoman Empire: The Case of "Kounchkavey Dar Zartosht"

In this study we will introduce a booklet in Persian, which was published in Istanbul in 1918. That booklet was entitled “Kounchkavey Dar Zartosht” and was intended for the Iranian community and for other Persian speakers, to guide them in celebrating their Nowruz festival. This text tells us, and also informs us in the subtitle, that there were Persian people or Iranians in those years and they were celebrating 1918’s Nowruz in Istanbul.
It is interesting that this booklet was published in the printing office of an Islamic Foundation (Matbaa-e Avkaf-e Islami) in Istanbul. On the first page, we see a charcoal image of Zoroaster. This booklet consists of around fourteen small pages and is divided in two parts. The writer Hossein Danesh gives some information about the birth and genealogy of Zoroaster/Zartosht. In the beginning the author tries to explain the mission of Zoroaster and makes a connection between Zoroaster, Nowruz and Iranians. Then he mentions the Zoroastrian holy book Avesta, especially the Gathas, and how this religion was spread in Iran. After that, he narrates the story in which Hoshang finds the Fire and people regard fire as sacred thing. The writer “Danesh” mentions also the “Sadah” fest and makes connections with Nowruz. He gives some examples from the glorious Iranian history and wants to encourage his Iranian compatriots to strive for modern development. The second part of the booklet contains a poem on Nowruz, “Dar Nowruz-e Jamshīdī”. The author makes a connection between Nowruz and Zoroaster, fire,the sun and the rebirth of nature.