Today, Azerbaijan is celebrating Wind Tuesday, one of the four festive Tuesdays before Novruz Holiday.
The four Tuesdays in the run up to Novruz symbolize the four elements called Su Chershenbesi (Water Tuesday), Od Chershenbesi (Fire Tuesday), Torpag Chershenbesi (Earth Tuesday), and Hava or Akhir Chershenbe (Wind or Last Tuesday).
Each Tuesday has its own traditions. Folk belief has it that water purifies and stirs, fire, earth and wind awaken the nature, and trees begin to blossom, symbolizing spring’s arrival.
Wind Tuesday is the time to clean your house and give soft furnishings and bedding a good airing.
On this Tuesday the soil and earth were believed to warm up and flowers to raise their heads. The cold and warm winds blowing on Wind Tuesday signal the coming spring; the slumbering wind has woken up, starts blowing and stirs water and fire. The changing nature of the wind during the day is perceived as the wind cleansing itself.
On all four Tuesdays and on the eve of Novruz, and especially on Fire Tuesday, it’s traditional to light bonfires, dance around them, and jump over them to cleanse their souls and ward off evil spirits.
Novruz holiday is one of the most important and favourite holidays of the Azerbaijani people. It marks the arrival of spring, renewal of nature, and is celebrated on the vernal equinox, March 20-21 – the beginning of the astronomical New Year.