The United Nations (UN)’s International Day of Nowruz is annually observed across the globe on 21st March to create awareness about Nowruz, which promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness.
- The word Nowruz (Novruz, Navruz, Nooruz, Nevruz, Nauryz), means “new day”.
- Nowruz marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, when the sun crosses the celestial equator and night and day are equal in length, which usually occurs on 21 March.
i.The celebration of Nowruz in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey was inscribed as an element in 2009, and extended in 2016, on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
ii.The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/64/253 on 23rd February 2010 and proclaimed the 21st March of every year as the International Day of Nowruz.
iii.The first International Day of Nowruz was celebrated on 21st March 2010.
Since Nowruz contributes to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities, it fits closely with the mandates of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO).
i.The festival of Nowruz is named after the Persian king, Jamshed, who created the Persian or Shahenshahi calendar.
ii.The Nowruz is celebrated as the beginning of the new year by more than 300 million people across the globe, and it has been celebrated for more than 3000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.
iii.It is also known as Novroz in the Ismaili Muslim tradition and Naw-Rúz in the Bahá’í faith.
Nowruz in India
In India, the festival is mostly celebrated around August 16-17 by the Parsi community following the Shahenshahi calendar which does not comprise of leap year.
Celebration of Nowruz:
An important tradition practised during Nowruz is the gathering around ‘the Table’, decorated with objects that symbolize purity, brightness, livelihood and wealth, to enjoy a special meal with loved ones.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France