Amu Nowruz or Amoo Norooz (Persian: عَمو نوروز) is the "Uncle" of Norooz, the Iranian New Year. Along with his side-kick Hajji Firuz, Amoo Norooz ushers in the spring time every year according to Iranian tradition. On the eve of spring equinox, when the Iranian New Year is celebrated in the Iran Cultural Continent from Albania in the West to west of the China in the East, Amoo Norooz brings children gifts, much like his Western counterpart Santa Claus. Along with Amoo Norooz and Haji Firooz, the Iranian New Year mythical characters include Naneh Sarma, sometimes called Lady of the Cold Spells, or Grandma Frost.
Haji Firooz is the announcer of Norooz's arrival while Amoo Norooz is more of a respected—almost always older—character who gives the gifts of Norooz. Haji Firooz is young, playful and clownish, dancing, chanting, and playing his tambourine to bring good cheer. Amoo Norooz, on the other hand, is more of a wise historical presence who passes the old story of Norooz to the young, thus giving the occasion the respect it deserves. Also, Haji Firooz demands Aidee while Amoo Norooz is the giver.
The first time the character of Amoo Norooz was animated outside of Iran was in 2005, in the cartoon Babak and Friends - A First Norooz.
- "Haji Firooz & Amoo Norooz - The Persian Troubadour & Santa Claus". PersianMirror Article. 15 November 2004. Retrieved 3 March 2010.