Iranians Celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year (Photos)

A couple lights a lantern during a celebration, known as "Chaharshanbe Souri," or Wednesday Feast, marking the eve of the last Wednesday of the solar Persian year, Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in Tehran, Iran. Iran's many woes briefly went up in smoke on Tuesday as Iranians observed a nearly 4,000-year-old Persian tradition known as the Festival of Fire. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranians Thursday celebrated the annual Nowruz holiday that marks the Persian new year and the arrival of spring.

The holiday, dating back to at least 1700 B.C. and incorporating ancient Zoroastrian traditions, is the most important event in the Iranian calendar and is widely celebrated across the territories of the old Persian empire, from the Mideast to Central Asia.

Street vendors pop up every year in crowded areas, offering lower prices.

Iran is facing an economic crisis in the wake the U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal with Tehran and re-imposed sanctions. Iran’s currency, the rial, has plummeted, sending prices skyrocketing and wiping out many people’s life savings.

Children launch kites during Nowruz celebration as the sun sets in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 21, 2019. Nowruz, the Farsi-language word for “new year”, is an ancient Persian festival, celebrated on the first day of spring in countries including Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran. The festival is a symbolic opportunity to purify the soul for the new year and symbolizes revival and is marked by spring cleaning, buying new clothes and planting trees. March 21, the first day of spring, marks Nowruz.(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Afghan street vendor sells snacks during celebrations for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, March 21, 2019. Nowruz is celebrated on the first day of spring in countries including Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran. (AP Photos/Rahmat Gul)
Iranians light fireworks during a celebration, known as “Chaharshanbe Souri,” or Wednesday Feast, marking the eve of the last Wednesday of the solar Persian year, Tuesday, March 19, 2019 in in Tehran, Iran. Iran’s many woes briefly went up in smoke on Tuesday as Iranians observed a nearly 4,000-year-old Persian tradition known as the Festival of Fire. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
An Iranian man jumps over a bonfire during a celebration, known as “Chaharshanbe Souri,” or Wednesday Feast, marking the eve of the last Wednesday of the solar Persian year, Tuesday, March 19, 2019 in Tehran, Iran. Iran’s many woes briefly went up in smoke on Tuesday as Iranians observed a nearly 4,000-year-old Persian tradition known as the Festival of Fire. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
An Iranian man releases a lit lantern during a celebration, known as “Chaharshanbe Souri,” or Wednesday Feast, marking the eve of the last Wednesday of the solar Persian year, Tuesday, March 19, 2019 in Tehran, Iran. Iran’s many woes briefly went up in smoke on Tuesday as Iranians observed a nearly 4,000-year-old Persian tradition known as the Festival of Fire. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Wednesday, March 13, 2019 photo, a local dancer from Sistan-Baluchestan Province in southeastern Iran dressed in local attire performs ahead of the Iranian New Year, or Nowruz, meaning “New Day” in northern Tehran, Iran, to familiarize people with how they celebrate Nowruz in the region. The holiday, dating back to at least 1700 B.C. and ancient Zoroastrian traditions, is the most important event in the Iranian calendar and is widely celebrated forms across the territories of the old Persian empire, from the Mideast to Central Asia.(AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Children launch kites during Nowruz celebration as the sun sets in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 21, 2019. Nowruz, the Farsi-language word for “new year”, is an ancient Persian festival, celebrated on the first day of spring in countries including Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran. The festival is a symbolic opportunity to purify the soul for the new year and symbolizes revival and is marked by spring cleaning, buying new clothes and planting trees. March 21, the first day of spring, marks Nowruz.(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)