21 March 2022

Nowruz is the Persian New Year. Also known as Nauryz, Navruz or Nowrouz, it means “new day.”

21 March is  officially recognized as International Nowruz Day by the United Nations at the request of countries including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Albania, India, Iran, and Turkmenistan

Nauryz means ‘new day’, it is celebrated over several days from March 21st and marks Persian New Year which begins on the Vernal Equinox. The month of March is known as Nauryz in Kazakhstan.

The Iranian calendar is a solar calendar, meaning time is determined, through astronomical observations, by Earth’s movement around the sun. So, the first day of the year always kicks off with the natural phenomenon of the vernal equinox.

Iranian families also welcome the new year with sparkling homes and new clothes. They visit friends and neighbors and share meals and host parties. Communities come together to celebrate the beginning of spring and do so in hopes they will always be surrounded by healthy and clean surroundings, like their home.

More than 300 million people worldwide celebrate Nowruz — and have celebrated it for more than 3,000 years — from the Balkans to the Black Sea Basin to Central Asia to the Middle East and elsewhere.

It’s not a religious holiday but rather a universal celebration of new beginnings: wishing prosperity and welcoming the future while shedding away the past. That’s why families use this time to deep clean their homes and closets and buy fresh clothing.

It’s a month long celebration, filled with parties, craft-making, street performances and public rituals.

In March 2021,  International Nowruz Day was Celebrated in Pretoria, South Africa  at the Embassy of Azerbaijan for the first time by the Heads of Missions of the Republic of Azerbaijan, (Charge’ d’ affaires Mr. Yamin Jafarov), the Republic of Iraq (H.E. Ambassador Arshad Omar Esmaeel), the Republic of Kazakhstan (H.E. Ambassador Kanat Tumysh) and the Republic of Turkey (Former Ambassador Elif Comoglu Ulgen).

This was the first time the Embassies organized Nowruz celebrations event and celebrated together. The event was attended by other Heads of Missions accredited to South Africa, Chief of State Protocol of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Ambassador Losi, Diplomatic Staff, citizens of the different Embassies living in South Africa, as well as South African citizens.

Remembering the 2021 International Nowruz celebrations event in Pretoria with 2021
IMAGES of the first International Nowruz Day celebrations

Images by:The Diplomatic Informer Magazine



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