Water Tuesday, “Su Chershenbesi” the first of four magic Tuesdays before the most-loved ancient holiday of Azerbaijanis – Novruz Bayram – will be celebrated across the country on February 25.

Novruz is a symbol that winter has ended and the advent of spring, an affirmation of life in harmony with nature, an indication of equality and fraternity, as well as renewal of nature.

People start celebrating Novruz a month before the holiday, which is associated with four elements – water, fire, earth and wind. Spring comes with all its beauties; water unfreezes, the earth gets warm, the soil awakens, and weather changes.

Novruz symbolizes humanity and is a real holiday of nature.

Novruz Tuesdays are considered sacred. The four Tuesdays are named after these elements, called Su Chershenbesi (Water Tuesday), Od Chershenbesi (Fire Tuesday), Torpag Chershenbesi (Earth Tuesday), and Hava or Akhir Chershenbe (Wind or Last Tuesday).

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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.

Water symbolizes the beginning of life, and water is renewed on this day.

On this day, young girls used to walk to springs in the mountains to get pure water, and came back with water in their Sahangs, a traditional Azeri jug made of metal with special carvings on it. Girls used to splash water around their houses and on their relatives’ faces. A bowl of water in the Khoncha, a Novruz tray with nuts and sweets, is a required attribute of Water Tuesday.