Novruz in Azerbaijan is a traditional holiday, which celebrates the New Year, and the coming of Spring. You will have a chance to witness most of the below mentioned traditions and rituals of Novruz during holiday program which is hold in Old Coty of Baku every year.
Usually preparation for Novruz begins a month prior to the festival. Each of forthcoming 4 weeks is devoted to one of the four elements and called accordingly in Azerbaijan. Each Tuesday people celebrate the day of one of the four elements - water, fire, earth and wind. People do house cleaning, plant trees, make new dresses, paint eggs, make national pastries such as shekerbura, pakhlava, shorgoghal and a great variety of national cuisine. Wheat is fried with kishmish (raisins) and nuts (govurga). As a tribute to pre-Islamic Zoroastrian beliefs, every Tuesday during four weeks before the holiday children jump over small bonfires and candles are lit. On the holiday eve the graves of relatives are visited and tended.
Different ancient traditional games and shows such as “Kos-kosa” (symbolizes the coming of spring), “Khidir Ilyas” (the symbol of fertility and blossom), fortune telling, etc. are held at musical gatherings take place at Novruz holiday. Folk singers sing songs, the wrestlers test their strength.