Nowruz 2021

For many years, SOCIETY is celebrating Nowruz, the New Year and Spring Festivity, together with a number of Diplomatic Missions and friends. This year, due to the circumstances, we moved the celebration online and with the participation of numerous Embassies who sent us videos, statements and messages, we created a “Nowruz special”. Find out more about the country’s different traditions and costums, listen to personal messages from Ambassadors and the statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and read about the most important facts about the ancient festivity below.

Finally, SOCIETY would like to wish everyone a Happy Nowruz and say thank you to everyone who participated. We are looking forward to times in which we will be able to celebrate together again.

In alphabetical order of the participating countries, we are presenting you the videos and statements, immersing into the traditions and specifics of Nowruz: (to be continued)

Afghanistan

H.E. Manizha BAKHTARI, Ambassador of Afghanistan, with her personal statement on Nowruz 2021:

“We hold this celebration close to our hearts and it is of great significance for our culture. Nowruz symbolizes hope, something the Afghan people have held on to through decades of hardship. Our optimism for better days brings us together […]”

H.E. Manizha BAKHTARI, (c) Video: Embassy of Afghanistan in Austria

Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, Nowruz celebrations last for several days, with even more celebrations leading up to it. On four Tuesdays before Nowruz, the four elements – earth, fire, water and wind – are being honored with different festivities.

Here, you can watch a video showcasing the traditions:

“Nowruz is a holiday of friendship and peace.”

– quote taken from the video (c) Video: youtube, eurovision.az

Iran

This year, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has organized a great open air Nowruz program for the Diplomatic Corps residing in Iran, which was hosted by the Iranian Foreign Minister, H.E. Javad Zarif. Unique traditional music as well as traditional dresses from different parts of Iran have been displayed. You can watch a video of the special festivity here:

Iraq

H.E. Baker Fattah Hussen, Ambassador of Iraq, sending his best wishes and a Happy Nowruz to everyone celebrating:

Kazakhstan

Watch H.E. Kairat UMAROV’S message on Nowruz and get an impression of the festivities in his country. During the Nauryz holiday, large and small cities in Kazakhstan turn into festival centres with performances, beautiful national clothes, music, exhibitions and many other activities.

“Kazakhs together with more than 300 million people all over the world celebrate Nowruz – the beginning of a new year, the arrival of spring and the renewal of nature”

H.E. Kairat UMAROV, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Austria/ (c) Videos: Embassy of Kazakhstan to Austria

Kyrgyzstan

Also in Kyrgyzstan, Nowruz is one of the most important holidays of the year. In this video, you can get a great impression of the country itself.

Video: Embassy of Kyrgyzstan

Russia

H.E. Dmitrij Ljubinskij, Ambassador of Russia, with a personal statement for Nowruz as well as a video with wonderful impressions of celebrations and festivities throughout the country.

“Nowruz ist ein Fest mit jahrhundertelanger Geschichte und die wichtigste Feier in der Kultur zahlreicher Völker unseres mulitnationalen Landes”

S.E. Dmitrij Ljubinskij, Botschafter Russlands in Österreich

Tajikistan

H.E. Idibek KALANDAR, Ambassador of Tajikistan, sends his personal Nowruz greetings, emphasizing the connectivity that derives from this ancient celebration. In the video below, you can see what the Festival of Spring looks like in Tajikistan and get an impression of the atmosphere on this special day.

Turkey

“I would like to extend my congratulations on the occasion of the Nowruz Day and wish the spirit of unity and solidarity, ushered in by the Nowruz may always prevail around the world.

The Nowruz Day has been celebrated for thousands of years with great enthusiasm across a vast geography extending from Central Asia to Anatolia and the Balkans. We will continue to build brick by brick a more prosperous, just and safer future for our country, our region and the entire humanity with the hope and excitement blossomed by the Nowruz.

I wish the Nowruz may bring peace, prosperity and well being to the entire humanity and extend my heartfelt greetings to everyone celebrating this unique event around the world.”

Message of H.E. Ozan Ceyhun, Turkish Ambassador to Vienna on the occasion of the International Nowruz Day/Photo: Society/Pobaschnig

Find out more about Nowruz in Turkey here.

And here you can get some travel inspirations.

Turkmenistan

In Turkmenistan, Nowruz is being celebrated with a 2-day holiday. Watch this impressive video showcasing the ancient festivity’s traditions.

Video from the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Austria

Uzbekistan

In Uzbekistan, Nowruz is being celebrated in every region of the country. Songs are performed by traditional singers and story tellers, such as the baxshi, shoirs and dostonchi. There are many more traditions and costums which you can see in the videos below:

“Nowruz is not just a celebration of changes taking place in nature, it is also a live long ressource that embodies thousands of years of history, values and traditions and encourages new plans and nobel goals”

quote taken from the video

Videos from the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Austria

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UN- Secretary-General António Guterres’ statement on Nowruz

Nowruz – facts:

When is Nowruz?

It begins at the spring equinox – the moment when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length – this is usually between 19-21 March, depending on astronomical calculations.

Where is it being celebrated?

It’s celebrated in Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia’s Bayan-Ölgii province, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, widely also in Turkey, India, Russia and other places with Persian enclaves.

How is it being celebrated?

Traditions differ from country to country. They range from family gatherings, jumping over bonfires, fireworks, spring cleaning and purchasing flowers (tulips and hyacinths are very popular), to poetry, musical performances and of course – special food.

There is also the “Haft-sin” table, on which seven (=haft) symbolic items whose names start with the letter “س” (sin) are arranged.

What does “Nowruz” mean?

Nowruz (or Novruz, Navruz, Nooruz, Nevruz, Nauryz) means “New Day”. It is celebrated as the beginning of a new year by more than 300 million people all around the world and the festivity’s history dates back more than 3000 years.

What else is there to know about Nowruz?

In 2010, the “International Day of Nowruz” on March 21 was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly. Furthermore, in 2009, Nowruz was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. As the UN states on its website: “Nowruz plays a significant role in strengthening the ties among peoples based on mutual respect and the ideals of peace and good neighbourliness. Its traditions and rituals reflect the cultural and ancient customs of the civilizations of the East and West, which influenced those civilizations through the interchange of human values.”

Traditional Haft-sin table (c) ashkan-forouzani/unsplash

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