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SPECIAL EVENT | 'Scent of Spring' 

Instead of trying to revel in the mid-winter gloom and watching a glitzy globe descend, wouldn't it make so much more sense to celebrate the New Year in the springtime? You know, when new life is awakening? Nowruz, or Persian New Year, is an ancient and still thriving cultural tradition celebrated in Iran, as well as other countries in the Middle East, in Central Asia, and among the Persian diaspora around the world. Nowruz is celebrated on the vernal equinox, and is marked by valuing diversity, peace, cleanliness, art (visual, dance, poetry, and music), generosity, the natural world, and wisdom. This week Nowruz will be celebrated with "Scent of Spring," a series of events and displays co-presented by International Culture and Arts Network and the University of Rochester. Highlights include speakers Shahin Monshipour and Daler Ibrahimov, who will give historic and cultural context of the celebration; performances by Omar Faruk Tekbilek & Murat Tekbilek, BIODANCE, Montreal-based dance group Simork, and Ithaca-based Dara Anissi Musical Group; Persian tea and sweets, and more. Festival dress is encouraged.

Wednesday, March 20, 4 to 6 p.m. Feldman Ballroom, Frederick Douglass Building, University of Rochester. Free. 273-5150;

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