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Photos: 4th International Nowruz Festival in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan


Photos by Islamic Republic News Agency

Norouz international event was held in in the Turkmenistan's capital of Ashgabat on Thursday. Nowruz (new day) marks the New Year for a number of regional countries, including Iran and Turkmenistan. The theme for the 4th International Nowruz Festival was peace and humanity.

The festival was kicked off in Ashgabat on Thursday in the presence of representatives from 12 countries, including presidents of Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Tatarstan, and the UN chief's envoy.

In a press briefing before his departure to Ashgabat, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described Nowruz as a divine celebration, saying that "culture-rich Iran" has celebrated the occasion for thousands of years and this "celebration of humaneness" serves as a reminder of monotheism, love, justice, beauty and truth to human beings.

In Iran and many other countries people welcome spring with the ancient Nowruz celebrations. Nowruz coincides with the astronomical Vernal Equinox Day or the first day of spring.

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.


Iranian and Turkmen Presidents

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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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