Religions and Spirituality

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Franklin Township: Nowruz Celebrated at Masjid-e-Ali

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This Tuesday, March 20,12:15 pm, marks the beginning of the spring and Persian New Year or Nowruz celebration.  A tradition that dates back to 3000 years ago and is based on the idea of triumph of good over evil.  The celebration is observed by many cultures including Iranian,  Tajik, Afghani, Uzbekis, Kurds, Turks and even some Pakistani and Indians. 

A couple of weeks before the spring arrival families start a thorough house cleaning. 

They usually set up a table with various items on it but all include seven items starting with the letter "Seen" in Persian. These items all have vegetable origins and are considered generally good for longevity and health!

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One of such table is set in the Lobby of Masjid-e-Ali where they will hold a Nowruz prayer event at 12 noon. 

  • Seeb, or apples, which represent health and beauty
  • Sabzeh, or sprouts, which represent rebirth
  • Samanoo, a pudding which represents the sophistication of Iranian cooking and patience; the pudding is made of wheat germ and flour and takes about 14 hours to cook.
  • Senjed, which is the fruit of the Lotus tree, and represents love
  • Somaq, which are sumac berries and which represent the color of the sun
  • Serkeh, or vinegar, which represents age and patience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are other elements that may be placed on the table. For example, on the table at Masjid-e-Ali there are a live goldfish in a bowl, which represents life; a mirror, which represents reflection and candles, which represent light, a holy book, Quran, a bowl of colored eggs which represent birth, and  Hyacinths, which have a great fragrance. 

The celebration continues for 13 days during which people visit friends and relatives and exchange gifts. On the 13th day, celebrants go out and hold a family picnic. During that day goldfish is also released into a stream or river or lake. 

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Franklin Township

Franklin Township: St. Matthias 31st Annual Carnival

April 22, 2018

SOMERSET, NJ - All are invited to St. Matthias' 31st annual carnival starting Tuesday, May 15, the event will run until Sunday, May 20. 

The family-friendly event will be held on their church grounds at 170 JFK Boulevard. Attendees can enjoy rides, food, games, and fellowship.

The following information is published on the St. Matthias' website:

Times and Key ...

Police Investigate Bias Incident in Montgomery, Seek Help from Public

April 20, 2018

MONTGOMERY, NJ - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and township Police Director/Capt. Thomas Wain are asking the public for help in the investigation of what is being considered a bias crime.

Detectives assigned to the investigation released that the following information based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview ...

Area Rotary Club Fair: Fun Place to Do Business

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Hillsborough will provide local businesses multiple opportunities to showcase their services and connect directly with customers at its 11th annual Rotary Fair, scheduled this year for Aug. 14–19.

More than 15,000 people from Hillsborough and surrounding communities are expected to visit the weeklong family event held at the Hillsborough Promenade, ...

Area Church Set To Host “Little Big Shots” Viewing Starring Lil Asmar

SOUTH PLAINFIELD,  NJ —  Impact Church is inviting the public to a viewing of NBC’s “Little Big Shots” featuring South Plainfield resident, 11-year-old bass guitarist, Lil Asmar. It is  a feel-good, family-friendly series hosted by Steve Harvey, "Little Big Shots" showcases talented and unique kids from all over the ...

Somerville: “Shop ‘til You Drop Resale Extravaganza” April 21

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The “Shop ‘til You Drop Resale Extravaganza” on April 21st is meant to draw attention to the borough’s  burgeoning network of antiques, collectibles and consignment shops.

Nine stores will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., each offering discounts and prizes for those looking for truly unique, one-of-a-kind items at affordable ...

East Brunswick's Rabbi Aryeh Goodman Charged with Sex Trafficking of a Child

NEWARK, N.J. – Two individuals who allegedly forced a child into commercial sex acts at multiple hotels throughout Middlesex, Bergen, and Essex counties, will appear in court today with one of their customers to face federal sex trafficking charges, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.  The "customer" is Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, 35, of East Brunswick, who is charged in a ...

Governor Names New Brunswick an "Opportunity Zone"

NEW BRUNSWICK - Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday that the U.S. Department of Treasury has approved New Brunswick as one of 169 recommended designations for Opportunity Zones throughout the Garden State.

The Opportunity Zone Program is designed to drive long-term capital investments into low-income rural and urban communities. There are 75 municipalities in the state ...

Police Investigate Bias Incident in Montgomery, Seek Help from Public

April 20, 2018

MONTGOMERY, NJ - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and township Police Director/Capt. Thomas Wain are asking the public for help in the investigation of what is being considered a bias crime.

Detectives assigned to the investigation released that the following information based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview ...

Area Rotary Club Fair: Fun Place to Do Business

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Hillsborough will provide local businesses multiple opportunities to showcase their services and connect directly with customers at its 11th annual Rotary Fair, scheduled this year for Aug. 14–19.

More than 15,000 people from Hillsborough and surrounding communities are expected to visit the weeklong family event held at the Hillsborough Promenade, ...

Area Church Set To Host “Little Big Shots” Viewing Starring Lil Asmar

SOUTH PLAINFIELD,  NJ —  Impact Church is inviting the public to a viewing of NBC’s “Little Big Shots” featuring South Plainfield resident, 11-year-old bass guitarist, Lil Asmar. It is  a feel-good, family-friendly series hosted by Steve Harvey, "Little Big Shots" showcases talented and unique kids from all over the ...

Somerset County Town to Close Library

April 21, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ  - The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night, before packed chambers and over 500 watching on Facebook live,  to close the Watchung Library and explore redevelopment of the library site on Stirling Road.

After years of discussion and debate, the council decided not to renovate the existing library or construct a new library. Mayor Stephen Pote ...

Somerset Resident Wins Gold at the 2018 New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – On April 14, Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School students competed against other career and technical education students from around the state at the 2018 New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships. 

Out of the 94 students from SCVTHS who competed, 63 received medals including 27 gold.  The gold medal winners are now eligible to test their skills in ...

Franklin Non-Profits Win Luxury Suite at TD Bank Ballpark

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione selected 40 nonprofit organizations in an annual drawing for Community Box seats at the TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater.

The winners will have an opportunity to watch the “Boys of Summer” play home games on various dates during the Somerset Patriots’ 2018 season.

“Somerset County has made this 30-seat community ...

Somerset County Town to Close Library

April 21, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ  - The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night, before packed chambers and over 500 watching on Facebook live,  to close the Watchung Library and explore redevelopment of the library site on Stirling Road.

After years of discussion and debate, the council decided not to renovate the existing library or construct a new library. Mayor Stephen Pote ...

Somerset Resident Wins Gold at the 2018 New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – On April 14, Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School students competed against other career and technical education students from around the state at the 2018 New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships. 

Out of the 94 students from SCVTHS who competed, 63 received medals including 27 gold.  The gold medal winners are now eligible to test their skills in ...