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Norouz Festival Brings Together Caspian Sea Countries

For the first time, Mazandaran province will be the host of the International Common Heritage Festival of Caspian Sea Regional Countries.

Tehran, 10 April 2006 (CHN) -- A common cultural background will bring together the Caspian Sea regional countries in a festival which will be held from 15-20 of April 2006 in Mazandaran province, north of Iran, to revise their common artistic and cultural values.

Having a special focus on Norouz (Persian New Year ceremony), the participants in this festival, which will be held with the effort of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Mazandaran province and the cooperation of Gilan, Golestan and Ardabil cultural heritage organizations, will discuss the common culture of the Caspian Sea regional countries.

The cultural, historic, and artistic backgrounds of these ethnic groups will be studied in a theoretical conference which will be held in the city of Sari during the said festival. Examining the common cultural values consisting of the common historical and artistic background alongside the common traditions and beliefs with a special focus on Norouz ceremony will be the top agenda of this conference.

In addition to establishing some handicrafts exhibitions, holding Norouz citing ceremony which is a common tradition among Iranian northern cities and Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan is intended to pave the way for registering this common intangible heritage in UNESCO's list. An exhibition of pictures and movies displaying the shared cultural and epic tales will be another part of this festival.

The first session of The International Festival of the Common Heritage of Caspian Sea Regional Countries with the title of "Norouz in Iran and Neighboring Countries", will be held for the first time in Mazandaran province with the participation of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Afghanistan. From next year, the festival will be periodically held in other countries of the region.

Norouz is the ancient tradition of Iran which marks the arrival of spring. A year ago, a file describing this ancient tradition was submitted by Iran to UNESCO to be inscribed in its third intangible heritage list. While a lot of experts from UNESCO and Iran believed that the file would be accepted for sure and Norouz would be inscribed in the list of UNESCO's world intangible heritage, the Norouz file was rejected due to its incomprehensiveness. Now Iran and countries of the Caspian Sea region who celebrate this traditional Persian holiday are working again on the Norouz file in order to be resubmitted to UNESCO for its inscription in the List of Intangible Heritage. Holding of the said festival is considered a major step in preparing a more comprehensive file for submission to UNESCO.

... Payvand News - 4/12/06 ... --

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