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Persian New Year traditions transformed by coronavirus in Iran

(CNN)The Persian New Year, or Nowruz, is a time of coming together in Iran. Alongside family, friends and strangers, Iranians take part in two weeks of rituals that include the spring equinox. Poetry is read and loved ones join one another in dance. Locals jump over bonfires to ward away sickness. Homes are cleaned, tables are symbolically rearranged. It's part of a string of customs to herald the spring and celebrate rebirth.This year, COVID-19 has transformed these traditions. Iran is under a partial lockdown as the health ministry confirms the death toll from the virus has topped 1,200, and Iranians are encouraging each other to stay at home. CNN spoke to Kaveh, a university student in Tehran, who describes how locals are trying to pres ...
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