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International Nowruz Day 2024 – March 21

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International Day of NowruzThe United Nations (UNInternational Nowruz Day is annually observed across the globe on 21 March to foster cultural exchange and promote peace, solidarity, and good neighbourliness.

  • The Day aims to contribute to cultural diversity and friendship among people and different communities.

Note: The word Nowruz (Novruz, Navruz, Nooruz, Nevruz, Nauryz) spelling and pronunciation may vary by country.

Nowruz: An Ancient Festival:

i.Nowruz, meaning “new day” in Farsi, is the Iranian/Persian New Year celebrated by over 300 million people globally.

ii.The festival that lasts 13 days originated from Zoroastrianism, a religion practiced in ancient Persia.

iii.It marks the arrival of the spring and falls around the spring/vernal equinox, typically between March 19th and March 21st (usually occurs on 21 March) in the Northern Hemisphere.

Global Observance:

In 2024, the Nowruz festival was celebrated on 20 March 2024. However, the UN has recognised March 21 as the International Day of Nowruz, emphasising its global observance and cultural significance.


i.Nowruz has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in different regions, including the Balkans, the Black Sea basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

ii.The traditions and rituals of the Day reflect ancient customs of civilizations, bridging East-West cultural exchanges through human values.

iii.Celebration of Nowruz symbolises life in harmony with nature and respect for natural cycles and affirms the link between constructive labour and the cycle of renewal.


i.International Nowruz Day was proclaimed under the agenda item of “culture of peace” at the 64th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

  • It originated from a joint initiative of multiple nations that share this holiday including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan,

ii.On 23 February 2010, the UNGA during its 71st plenary meeting, officially adopted the resolution A/RES/64/253 and recognised 21 March as the International Day of Nowruz.

iii.The 1st ever International Day of Nowruz was observed on 21 March 2010.

UNESCO’s Recognition:

i.In recognition of the importance of this ancient rite, Nowruz was inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

ii.In 2016, Nowruz extended to the UNESCO List at the joint initiative of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Celebration in India:

i.In India, Nowruz 2024 will be celebrated on 2 dates due to different calendar traditions.

  • The 1st observance was on 20 March 2024, aligning with the global observance of Nowruz during the spring equinox, following the Solar Hijri calendar.
  • The 2nd observance is scheduled for 15 August 2024, following the Shahenshahi calendar, which does not account for leap years.

ii.It leads to the unique tradition of 2 New Year celebrations among the Parsi community in India.