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What is Nowruz? Zoroastrians – West Asian holidays

By |2018-04-25T23:58:29+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Persepolis may have been built in the 500s BC as a place to celebrate Nowruz. Zoroastrianism became much more popular suddenly when the Persian kings became Zoroastrians around 550 BC. Soon after that, Zoroastrian worshippers began to celebrate the first day of spring as an important holiday. That was the first day of their New Year. Nowruz is [...]

West Asia in the Stone Age

By |2018-04-25T23:57:09+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Stone Age West Asia: A building at Gobekli Tepe (ca. 9000 BC) Stone Age West Asia By around 10,000 BC, people in West Asia were beginning to settle down in one place instead of travelling around, even though they were still hunting and gathering. Probably this was because the end of the Ice Age was making West Asia so [...]

West Asian food – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2018-04-25T23:40:08+00:00September 13th, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Sumerians sipping beer through straws (ca. 2500 BC) The people of West Asia traditionally divided themselves into two groups who had very different eating and drinking habits. These two groups thought of themselves as enemies, even though they also traded with each other and married each other all the time. One group lived in [...]

What is Sukkot? – Jewish holidays

By |2017-08-25T10:31:10+00:00August 25th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Sukkah - a temporary house just for the holiday People along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea first began celebrating Sukkot probably at least six thousand years ago, when they were beginning to be farmers. Like Passover and Hanukkah, Sukkot was a harvest festival. After plowing, planting, pulling weeds, watering, and worrying about whether diseases or storms would wreck the [...]

Where do peaches come from? China

By |2018-04-19T15:12:08+00:00June 22nd, 2017|China, Food|

Peaches growing on a peach tree China was the first home of peaches. Peaches are related to almonds and apples, but apples and almonds grew further west, and peaches grew further east. People in southern China have been eating peaches since at least 1000 BC, and probably as early as 4000 BC. Many [...]

Where do almonds come from? West Asian food

By |2018-04-16T12:29:37+00:00June 20th, 2017|Food|

Almonds drying after harvest (Southern Spain) Wild almonds are related to peaches and apples. Almonds probably evolved about the same time, around five million years ago. Like peach trees and apple trees, almond trees made cyanide poison. That kept sheep and goats and rabbits from eating their fruit. Peach trees grew in East Asia (China), [...]