Aga Khan Park: Make it Your Family Destination as Park Tells Story of Navroz and Spring Through Beautifully Illustrated Panels

Publisher/Editor  SimergphotosBarakah and Simerg

A Family Enjoys a Beautiful Spring Afternoon

Aga Khan Park Ismaili family Simerg and Simergphotos
The Bahram family from Afghanistan enjoy an outing at Toronto’s Aga Khan Park on March 17, 2021, with the dome of the Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana in the background. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.

The Aga Khan Park’s newest outdoor exhibit began unfolding before my eyes, as I watched 5 magnificent structures glorifying Navroz and the spring season being positioned at different sites in the Park. While some of the panels talk about Netherlands and tulips as well as hares and rabbits, my attention in this post will be on the celebration of Navroz.

I arrived at the Aga Khan Park carrying with me a hot cup of chai, a small container of bhel-puri and a few chicken samosas from Khaike Paan, an Ismaili family owned business on Yonge and Elgin Mills that I highly recommend for everything from bhirianis to vegetable and meat curries to freshly made paans. The shop also rents out videos, and sells ready made snacks such as chevdo from Kenya as well as a very popular Tanzanian styled ice-cream made by an Ismaili lady in Toronto. The children who have been helping their parents and grandparents at the store are extremely polite and very efficient. The little girl today was particularly sweet; she took down my order and I waited outside by my car snacking on sliced watermelon pieces. When the order was ready in 15 minutes I knew where I was headed for, a destination that my regular readers will have quite easily guessed without even having to think for a second.

A Bird Contemplates in Front of the Jamatkhana Dome

Bird on tree at Aga Khan Park and Ismaili Jamatkhana Simerg and Simergphotos Malik Merchant
A bird perches at the top of a tree at Aga Khan Park with a perfect view of the glass dome of the Toronto Headquarters Ismaili Jamatkhana on March 17, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Upon arriving at the Aga Khan Park, I watched panel displays depicting the spring season being carried on utility vehicles to their markers, guided by a group of staff and volunteers. I urge everyone to visit the Aga Khan Park this weekend from Friday through Sunday (March 21) when it is expected to be sunny on all days with temperatures on both Saturday and Sunday hitting double digit figures. It will be a true celebration of Navroz, I think.

Creativity and Dedication by Staff and Volunteers Gives Us Happiness and Enjoyment

Volunteers Aga Khan Park spring is here panel simerg Malik Merchant
Volunteers stand in front of the defining “Spring is Here” panel located by the entrance to the Aga Khan Museum and the Aga Khan Park on March 17, 2021. The Big Heech steel sculpture with its shadow on the museum wall is seen at right. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.


Aga Khan Park spring exhibit
A utility vehicle is seen carrying a spring exhibit structure to a designated spot at Aga Khan Park. One such exhibit can be seen to the right of the Aga Khan Museum wall, and just behind one of 5 ponds of Aga Khan Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.



spring is here at aga khan park
SPRING IS HERE! A beautiful collage put up by Aga Khan Park depicting Nowruz and the spring season, and covering related cultural themes on 5 structures, each with four panels, scattered around the park. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Panels Displayed at Ismaili Centre: (1) Nowruz Introduction; (2) Celebrations at Persian Court; (3) Coloured Eggs; and (4) Nowruz Today

Nowruz introduction Aga Khan Park
A panel display introducing Nowruz (also Navroz, Norooz etc.). Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
nowruz in the persin courts as per the book of kings by firdausi aga khan park
Panel on spring and Nowruz as depicted in Firdausi’s epic work the Shahnameh or the Book of Kings. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
Coloured eggs for the Persian New Year, Aga Khan Park.
Coloured eggs, a very popular activity among both young and old alike during the Nowruz festivities. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
Nowruz today at aga khan park
A panel illustrating the celebration of Nowruz today that includes the symbolic display of seven items or Haft seen. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Haft Seen Panel Elsewhere at Aga Khan Park

Haft Seen at Aga Khan Park
An illustration of Haft Seen — the 7 symbolic elements that are very much part of the Nowruz celebration in Iran. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.

This is a partial presentation of the Aga Khan Park exhibit about spring and Nowruz. I must emphasize that the beauty of the presentation can only be truly appreciated when you are physically present at the grounds of the three projects created by Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan. Being in nature, hearing the sounds of birds chirping, watching a large bird fly over the dome of the Ismaili Jamatkhana, and listening to the laughter of children are moments that you will cherish all your life.

Date posted: March 18, 2021.


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