International Day of Nowruz

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2024 Date21 March 2024
2025 Date21 March 2025

International Day of Nowruz

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International Day of Nowruz is a global observance recognized by the United Nations, marking the celebration of the Persian New Year, also known as Nowruz. It essentially symbolizes a moment of new beginnings, spring's arrival, and celebrates the universal values of peace, solidarity, and goodwill among people regardless of their cultural backgrounds. This observance is particularly recognized for promoting diversity, tolerance, and respect for cultural traditions and heritage, fundamentally contributing to international peace and security.

Historically, Nowruz, meaning 'new day', is a tradition originating from ancient Persia over 3,000 years ago and is celebrated by approximately 300 million people worldwide today, including a substantial number in India. Being a multicultural country, India's diverse populace includes a significant population of Iranians, Parsis, and other communities that observe Nowruz, and thus the day has considerable importance. On this day, the UN acknowledges the vital role that these traditions, inclusive of Nowruz, play in enhancing India's cultural diversity and fostering mutual respect and harmony.

In India, the celebration of the International Day of Nowruz is mostly localized within the Parsi and Iranian communities. Its observation is similar to practices worldwide, involving the arrangement of the 'Haft-Seen' table that symbolizes new life, prosperity, love, and happiness. Additionally, Indian adherents also incorporate traditional rituals and adorn their homes and streets to bring in the spring season joyously. To conclude, International Day of Nowruz coincides with the vernal equinox that marks the beginning of spring, typically falling on March 21, mirroring the spirit of renewal echoed across the Indian subcontinent through a similar festival, 'Holi'.

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Facts about International Day of Nowruz

  • International Day of Nowruz is celebrated by many countries in western, central, and southern Asia. These include Afghanistan, Georgia, Albania, Iran, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan.
  • The oldest records of Nowruz go back to 247 B.C during the Arsacid/Parthian times.
  • One tradition during Nowruz is to pay short house visits to family, friends, and neighbors.

Top things to do in India for International Day of Nowruz

  • Give your family members gifts. On the first day of Nowruz, family members gather around the Haft Seen table and await the exact moment of spring. Once it arrivesm, everyone exchanges gifts.
  • Enjoy a picnic. On the last day of Nowruz it is custom to go outdoors and have picnics and parties as a way to avoid bad luck.

References and related sites

UN: Nowruz Day
UNESCO: Nowruz Day

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