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UN head praises Nowruz as unifying force


Source: Radio Zamaneh

The UN Secretary General issued a message on the occasion of Nowruz and the arrival of spring.

"On this International Day of Nowruz, I offer my best wishes to those who celebrate, and express hope that all people can use the occasion to reflect on the beauty of nature, the promise of spring and the power of culture to build peace," Ban Ki-moon said in his message on Tuesday.

An ancient Iranian celebration of the New Year, Nowruz is celebrated, as the UN chief recognized in his message, by "many countries of Western, Central and South Asia, the Caucasus, the Balkans and beyond."

The UN chief lauded the inclusion of Nowruz on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and he praised the united efforts of "Azerbaijan, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan" in revealing the "value of unity in diversity."

The UN Secretary General celebrated Nowruz as the special annual occasion that brings diverse people together for "celebration of the larger forces that unite us."

Photos: Nowruz Celebration at UN - March 19, 2013

The UN chief's message went on: "Nowruz does more than bring countries together; it reminds us to cherish the planet we share. By highlighting the beauty of nature and the renewal of springtime, Nowruz can inspire celebrants and onlookers alike to practice greater environmental stewardship."

Nowruz, which was added to the UNESCO list in 2010 as an international celebration, marks the beginning of the official New Year in Iran.

International Day of Nowruz: 21 March

International Nowruz Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/64/253 of 2010, at the initiative of several countries that share this holiday (Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.

Inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a cultural tradition observed by numerous peoples, Nowruz is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities.

Photos: Nowruz Celebration at UN - March 19, 2013


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- Nowruz, "New Day", is the holiest and most joyful festival of the Zoroastrian year and the most important national festival for all Iranians. Its celebration is recorded from the Achaemenian period around 500 BCE. Nowruz first appears in Pahlavi texts from the Sasanian period, as nog roz. It is a celebration of spring equinox, when the sun begins to regain strength and there is a renewal of growth in nature. -Massoume Price 03/18/13


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