Azerbaijan celebrates Last Tuesday before Novruz Holiday
Azerbaijan is celebrating the Last Tuesday (Ilakhir Chershenbe) of Novruz Holiday.
On the last Tuesday of the holiday, land wakes up and begins to breathe. The last Tuesday of Novruz is called “Yer Çərşənbəsi” (Earth Tuesday), “İlaxır Çərşənbə” (Last Tuesday) or “Torpaq Çərşənbəsi” (Land Tuesday).
The Last Tuesday of Novruz, is celebrated by making a bonfire and everyone regardless of his/her age and sex should jump over the blessed fire at least seven times. Seven times jumping over the same bonfire or one time over seven bonfires.
This Tuesday evening is considered as the most festive with candles on the table, dishes cooked and sweets prepared. The decoration of the festive table is khoncha, a big tray with "samani" -- freshly sprouted wheat and a symbol of hope for an abundant harvest in the coming year.
Spring will come to Azerbaijan on March 20. The Sun will move from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere on March 19. At that moment, the Sun will be on the intersection of the Earth's equatorial and ecliptic planes. It is called in astronomy as "spring equinox". The equinox is recorded when the Sun shines directly on the equator. Since then, the astronomical spring begins in the northern hemisphere and it will continue till June 21.