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International Nowruz Day: Celebrated globally on 21 March

International Nowruz Day is being celebrated globally on 21 March every year. International Nowruz Day is being observed to celebrate “Nowruz” which is an ancestral festivity and marks the first day of spring as well as the renewal of nature.

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What is Nowruz and why do we celebrate it?

The word Nowruz (Novruz, Navruz, Nooruz, Nevruz, Nauryz), means new day; its spelling and pronunciation may vary by country.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on 21 March. It is celebrated as the beginning of the new year by more than 300 million people all around the world and has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East and other regions.

Significance of the day:

Nowruz plays a significant role in strengthening the ties among peoples based on mutual respect and the ideals of peace and good neighbourliness. Its traditions and rituals reflect the cultural and ancient customs of the civilizations of the East and West, which influenced those civilizations through the interchange of human values.

It also encourages values of peace and solidarity among generations and within families hence contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples as well as in different communities.

Background

International Nowruz Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010, at the initiative of several countries that share this holiday. Under the agenda item of “culture of peace”, the member states of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iran (the Islamic Republic of), India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan prepared and introduced a draft resolution entitled “International Day of Nowruz” to the ongoing 64th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations for its consideration and adoption.

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