Weekend Events: Women’s History Month and a Persian New Year Celebration!

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Saturday, March 6: Women’s History Month Family Day Celebration

The Smithsonian celebrates Women’s History Month with a festival devoted to women in the arts. Enjoy music and dance performances and workshops, hands-on art and stamp-collecting activities, and a special Red Carpet area for stars of all ages! Free. American Art Museum, 11:30 AM-3:00 PM

Sunday, March 7: Persian New Year's Celebration!

Celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year festival and celebration of spring at the Freer with this series of family-friendly free events!

11:00 AM

Xanthe Gresham brings to life stories of ancient Persian kings and exciting episodes from the Shanama (Book of kings) and other classic Iranian epics. A lecturer in storytelling and drama at the University of East London, Xanthe entertains young and old alike in the spacious Discovery Theater. Free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door on March 7 beginning one hour before show time. This event repeats today at 2:00 PM.

11:00 AM-4:00 PM

For the kids: make Nowruz greeting cards, take part in the Nowruz tradition of jumping over a fire (artificial, of course), and have your fortune told.

Also be sure to check out the animated short Babak and Friends: A First Nowruz. Young Babak lives in the United States and learns about Nowruz when his cousins arrive from Iran to celebrate the New Year. This film is 30 minutes long and will be screened throughout the day.

For the domestic diva (and divo): Learn about Haft Sin, festive tabletop displays that Iranian families traditionally set out to celebrate the return of spring.

12:00 PM

Backgammon: The tables are set for backgammon enthusiasts to come and play this classic parlor game that originated in Persia (present-day Iran). Never played? Never fear! Members of the Northern Virginia Backgammon Club are on hand to offer newbies introductory lessons. This event repeats today at 2:00 PM.

Storytelling: Surabhi Shah: Asian Stories of Rebirth: Storyteller Surabhi Shah returns to the Freer to share stories of new beginnings from across Asia. Her engaging storytelling style is part of a rarely heard tradition from India that weaves story with melodic verse. This event repeats today at 2:00 PM.

12:30 PM

The Pejvak Ensemble: Enjoy new music performed on traditional Persian instruments, featuring Bahadoran on tar and setar; Faraz Minooei on santur; Pezhham Akhavass on tombak; Shohreh Majd, vocals; and Steve Bloom on percussion. Free tickets are required. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door on March 7 beginning one hour before show time. This event will repeat today at 3:30 PM.

1:00 PM

Book Signing: Najmieh Batmanglij: Acclaimed chef and author Najmieh Batmanglij signs copies of her cookbooks, including Happy Nowruz: Cooking with Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year.

About Jesse Rhodes

Jesse Rhodes is an editorial assistant for Smithsonian magazine. Before he became an editorial assistant, Jesse worked at the Library of Congress Publishing Office, where he was a contributor to the Library of Congress World War II Companion.

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