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An actor in the role of Amu Nowruz

Amu Nowruz (Persian: Amu Nowruz – عمو نوروز‎, "Uncle Nowruz"), also known as Papa Nowruz (بابا نوروز – Bābā Nowruz),[1][2] is a fictional figure in Iranian folklore. According to the folklore, he appears annually at the beginning of spring, together with his companion Haji Firuz, to mark the beginning of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year.[3]

On the eve of spring equinox, when the Iranian New Year is celebrated in the Iranian cultural continent from Albania in the West to the west of China in the East, Amu Nowruz brings children gifts, much like his Christian counterpart Santa Claus.[4] He is the husband of Nane Sarma, who shares a traditional love story with him in which they can meet each other only once a year.[5][6]

Amu Nowruz is characterized as an elderly silver-haired man who puts on a felt hat, and has a walking stick, a long cloak of blue canvas, a sash, a pair of thin-soled giveh, and a pair of linen trousers.[7] He is a wise historical presence who passes the old story of Nowruz to the youth. Haji Firuz plays a tambourine, dances, and demands gifts, while Amu Nowruz is the giver.

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