Under specter of coronavirus, Iranians celebrate ‘Nature Day’ at home
Unlike in previous years, when the parks and green countryside across Iran were packed with picnickers marking the ‘Nature Day’, people are celebrating this year’s ‘Sizdah-Bedar’ at home due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
According to Tasnim news agency, every year on the 13th day of spring, which is an official holiday in Iran known as the ‘Nature Day’ in the calendar, Iranian families go on a picnic at parks or in the countryside in celebration of the ancient festival.
While Iranians have always upheld the time-honored tradition on the thirteenth day of Nowruz by spending the day outdoors, the global coronavirus pandemic has forced people to stay home this year and observe self-isolation protocols in the fight against the viral disease.
‘Sizdah’ means thirteen, and 'Bedar' means to get rid of, bearing the meaning of ‘getting rid of thirteen’. ‘Sizdah-Bedar’ also marks the end of Nowruz celebrations, which begin on the first day of spring.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, authorities have closed all parks and public places in Iran on April 1 and have imposed severe penalties for picnicking.
The Iranian administration has extended social distancing measures until April 8 to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.