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International Day of Nowruz 2024, Date, History, and Significance

What is Nowruz and Why Do We Celebrate It?

Nowruz (Novruz, Navruz, Nooruz, Nevruz, Nauryz) means “new day“. It marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on March 21. More than 300 million people all around the world celebrate Nowruz. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East, and other regions.

A Cultural Heritage of Humanity

In 2009, Nowruz was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It is an ancestral festivity marking the beginning of spring and the renewal of nature. Nowruz promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and families. It also encourages reconciliation and neighbourliness, contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and communities.

Celebrating Harmony with Nature

Celebrating Nowruz means the affirmation of life in harmony with nature. It reflects an awareness of the link between constructive labour and the natural cycles of renewal. It also represents a respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.

Background: International Nowruz Day

In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21 as the International Nowruz Day (A/RES/64/253). Several countries that share this holiday, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan, initiated this resolution under the agenda item “culture of peace”.

The UN General Assembly welcomed the inclusion of Nowruz in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009. It also invited UN member states, organizations, and non-governmental organizations to participate in events organized by countries where Nowruz is celebrated.

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