TEHRAN, Iran – Iranians are preparing for the annual Nowruz holiday that marks the Persian New Year and the arrival of spring.
The holiday, dating back to at least 1700 B.C. and ancient Zoroastrian traditions, is the most important event in the Iranian calendar and is widely celebrated forms across the territories of the old Persian empire, from the Mideast to Central Asia.
Many Tehran residents were busy on Wednesday shopping and preparing to host family and friends over Nowruz. Street vendors pop up every year in crowded city areas, offering lower prices.
Iran is facing an economic crisis in the wake the U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal with Tehran and re-imposed sanctions. Iran's currency, the rial, has plummeted, sending prices skyrocketing and wiping out many people's life savings.