The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will present its sixth annual “Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration” free family festival Saturday, March 8, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Throughout the day, visitors of all ages can dance, play and feast to mark the Persian year of 1393 at a celebration encompassing both museums and including live music, film, art making, hands-on workshops and traditional cuisine.
Visitors will be able to hear storyteller Xanthe Gresham weave tales from Persian folklore, discover the meaning of colorful “Haft Sin” displays, watch a master calligrapher at work and dress up in costume to take photos in front of the ancient Persian capital Persepolis. Other activities include “fire jumping” for good luck in the new year, an artwork scavenger hunt, face painting and hands-on art workshops. Traditional dancers will perform throughout the day, and docents will highlight important masterpieces in the galleries.
Lively and entertaining Iranian cartoons will screen throughout the day in the Freer’s Meyer Auditorium, and the festival will culminate in an evening concert of the music of Iranian American composer Reza Vali, performed by the Carpe Diem Quartet and guest artist Dariush Saghifi. Persian cuisine will be available for purchase.
The event regularly draws crowds of 10,000 visitors, and is made possible by a grant from Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar.