Persian New Year Storytelling
Online via Zoom
A festive virtual program honoring the emergence of spring and the traditions of Nowruz.
Stories from the Persian epic poem “Shahnama” (“Book of Kings”) and an insider’s view of traditions: celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year, with a fascinating tale about King Jamshid and enthralling stories about this special day. Gather the whole family for this fun and festive virtual program honoring light over darkness and the emergence of spring. Recommended for ages 7 and up, but all are welcome.
Explore other ways to celebrate the Persian New Year, including art activities, links to objects in our collection, a book list, and more.
ABOUT OUR GUESTS
Homa Hanjani was born and raised in Tehran, Iran and immigrated to the United States in 1985. She began her career in education; as an elementary school teacher, she welcomed and celebrated all of the stories that came into her classroom. It was important to her to create a space where all students felt seen and heard and took pride in their own heritage and traditions. In the early 2000s, the Asian Art Museum asked Hanjani to develop a hands-on experience for children to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year. She has been collaborating on the museum’s Nowruz programs ever since. Hanjani is Director of Admissions at San Francisco Day School, a K–8 independent school in San Francisco.
Behnam Sarafpour was born in Tehran, Iran, the middle child of Rahmatolah Sarafpour, a merchant, and Masoumeh Rahbar, a homemaker. In 1976, Behnam came to the United States for his high school studies. The outbreak of the prolonged Iran-Iraq war led to Sarafpour staying in the U.S. and eventually obtaining his American citizenship. He trained in clinical pharmacy and has worked in the biopharmaceutical industry for most of his professional career. However, his avocations are the visual arts and literature. Sarafpour is an admirer of traditional Iranian storytellers and, as a father of two, has entertained many children with traditional and extemporaneous fables.
Photograph courtesy Shaghayegh Cyrous.
Cultural Celebrations are made possible by Bank of America.
The Asian Art Museum Storyteller Program is generously supported by the Kimball Foundation.