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House of Iran
Founded: 1992

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The Traditional Haft Sîn


The Iranian New Year also called “Nowruz”
Nowruz is the new year holiday in Iran, it means “New Day”.  It celebrates the awakening of nature, the transition of the darkness of winter to the new life of spring, a time to celebrate life and renewal for much of that which is on the earth. Traditions include building bonfires to purge evil, and making it through another winter. It is also a tradition to clean everything in the house before Nowruz, which may have been the origin of the custom of “spring cleaning” as we know it here in America.

Lawn  Program – Ruz-e-Iran:
The lawn program is held every year on the Sunday following the Persian New Year, which is the day of the vernal equinox, around March 20th or the first day of spring. The new year is marked at the very instant when the sun leaves the astrological sign of Pisces and enters the sign of Aries.

Since the celebration of the New Year (Nowruz) is the biggest and most important holiday for the Persian people, the events in Balboa Park are very extensive.  In their beautiful new cottage you will find a lot of the traditional artifacts and Persian hospitality starting at 12:00 noon.

At 2:00 pm the lawn program begins with the usual speeches and National anthem, followed by a musical program.  Professional dancers from Los Angeles and dancers from the local Persian Dance Academy will perform some of their traditional ethnic and folk dances in their authentic costumes.  In addition, there will be reading of poems plus singing and playing of instruments. 

Another interesting feature is the Nowruz “Haft Seen” table.  As tradition dictates, seven symbols are placed on a table, all begin with the Farsi letter “S”. All representing nature’s gifts. They are:

  • boiled malt with flour (Samanu-prosperity),
  • apple (Seeb-beauty),
  • seed sprout (Sabzeh-rebirth),
  • fruit of service tree (Senjed-happiness),
  • garlic (Seer-health),
  • vinegar (Serekh-patience), and
  • sumac berry ((Sumagh-joy).

Added to these are season flowers that begin with “S” as well.  Sonbol (hyacinth) and Sussan (lily).  Sekeh (coins) in water for purification and prosperity, colored eggs for fertility, a bowl with gold fish life and sun changing from the constellation of Pisces to Aries, a  mirror – reflection of creation, candles – enlightenment.

The festivities continue until 5:00 pm with a D.J. playing and dancing and having a good time.

Food served for the Lawn Program and the Christmas Holidays in the park are chicken kabob with rice, pita bread and salad.  The desserts are baklava and pastries served with hot tea and other drinks.  For December Nights, they add a hot vegetarian herb noodle soup to their menu.

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Persian Cultural Dance Academy


Iranian School of San Diego
The Iranian School of San Diego is not part of the House of Iran, but they are closely linked because it gives the children of the members an opportunity to learn the Farsi language and culture.  The school is an affiliate of the Persian Cultural Center.  It was established in 1988 to serve the Iranian-American community of San Diego County.  The academic year consists of two semesters with approximately a few hundred students for all age groups, from kindergarten to High School level.  The academic level is so extensive, that it is fully recognized for students who transfer to schools in Iran. There are two locations; one is in La Jolla and the other one in Rancho Penasquitos.

For addresses and class schedules please refer to the Appendix “House of Iran”.

Persian Cultural Dance Academy
This Dance Academy runs parallel to the school and was established in 1983, and joined forces with the Iranian School of San Diego in 1988 to offer more opportunities to interested students.

The students perform and represent dances from many ethnicities of Iran.  The older students get the chance to do the choreography.  The new Hip Hop mixed with the Iranian Majlisi dance has created a new look of how these two diverse cultures meet in this form of art.

Information can be obtained by calling 858-450-0108.

Scholarship Program
The House of Iran is proud to sponsor some scholarships to college students, which is funded from their fundraising events as well as private donations.

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First Declaration of Human Rights by Cyrus the Great


In October of 2004, the House of Iran completed their $350,000 cottage and donated it to the City of San Diego as a gift from the Iranian American Community in appreciation of the opportunities they have found in our great city.

As part of this project the House of Iran installed a piece of rock carrying the replica of the “Cyrus the Great” Cylinder as the First Official Declaration of Human Rights in the World.  This declaration is proudly displayed outside of the House of Iran cottage for the public to see.

The words of this declaration can be found on the Appendix page under “House of Iran”


House of Iran Brochure
Learn more about the House of Iran: Page 1 ; Page 2

large product photo   COUNTRY INFORMATION

Land Area: 636,296 sq. miles                               
Population:  65,397,521 (July 2007 est.)
Capital City: Tehran                                        
Language:  Persian (Farsi) and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
Religion:  Muslim 98% (Shi'a 89%, Sunni 9%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i) 2%
Form of Government: Unitary Islamic Republic    
Economy: oil, gas, steel, electrical equipment         
Export: petroleum 80%, chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets

Source: The World Factbook - Iran





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