Greeting a change of season can by a joyous, community-big event, one that incorporates traditional dances and songs and messages of hope for the days soon to unfold.
Nowruz, the celebration of the Iranian new year, flowers at the very start of springtime, like the first bud opening in the garden. And like that bud, the venerable and vivacious festivity comes with all of the beauty and essence of the season it heralds.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has paid tribute to the holiday for eight years, always on a weekend day just ahead of springtime's official launch date.
So while the equinox is set for March 20, the Sunday before — that's March 13 — is devoted to a day of tunes and story at the Miracle Mile art institution.
First up at LACMA's Nowruz gathering? A children and youth program, which will feature to-dos such as calligraphy (it starts at 11:30 a.m. and runs through 4 o'clock). The traditional dance performances share the same start time, as does the Saaz o Dohol music (look for both at the Los Angeles Times Central Court, which will also feature at Haft Sîn display).
Mamak Khadem's "Whispers of Spring" will enjoy its world premiere at 12:30 p.m. in the museum's Bing Theater. It is a ticketed event and currently sold out.
Not ticketed, however, and totally free, are the kid programs, the displays, the musical and dance performances, and the live concert by Niyaz in Hancock Park at 5 p.m. (featuring Azam Ali), and the always popular, hue-happy costume parade, a procession that will encompass much of the museum and Hancock Park. Look for traditional Iranian costumes and flowers galore to lend the parade much of its photo-amazing panache.
The Farhang Foundation is the host of this annual embrace of springtime and all of its gifts of renewal and joy.