International Day of Nowruz is observed every March 21st to coincide with the Persian Spring Festival known as Nowruz. It occurs on or near the Spring Equinox.
Nowruz (pronounced “no-Rooz”) translates as “new day” and represents the first day of spring. The celebration falls on the vernal equinox which also aligns with the first day of the Iranian calendar.
Spring cleaning has an entirely different meaning when celebrating the International Day of Nowruz. This global holiday is the annual start of a new year in many parts of the world.
The event is filled with ancestral rituals, communal ceremonies, and topped off with a special meal shared with neighbors and loved ones. The celebration of Nowruz dates back over 3,000 years in Western Asia and has become widespread all around the world.
Being an annual tradition shared by millions of people, Nowruz represents more than an observance passed through generations. It serves as a reminder that rebirth in nature is an optimistic occurrence.
As winter comes to a halt and life begins anew, Nowruz is the opportunity to synchronize with nature’s surroundings. It’s about strengthening bonds, rekindling friendships, and taking on new opportunities.
“Since it signifies a new beginning, Nowruz is also a festival that is filled with hope, as expressed in the gentle and elegant words of the Persian poet Hafez: “Springtime is here again/With the charm of roses./Look at their fresh cheeks/And the bitter plant of sadness/Will be uprooted from your heart”. The fires that are lit at Nowruz in the Iranian countryside, on the northern plains of Iraq and on the beaches of Los Angeles burn up the bad luck and suffering of the previous year and carry the promise of future joy and a more peaceful world.” -Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day of Nowruz
The word Nowruz (Novruz, Navruz, Nooruz, Nevruz, Nauryz), means new day; its spelling and pronunciation may vary by country.
The United Nations officially recognized the International Day of Nowruz as an international holiday in 2010. The initiative was proposed by numerous countries that share the holiday including Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, India, Iran (the Islamic Republic of), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.
Celebrating Nowruz means the affirmation of life in harmony with nature, awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labor and natural cycles of renewal, and a solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.