Kurdish people welcome the Persian New Year along with spring equinox celebrations [PHOTOS]




Persian New Year

Iraqi Kurdish people carry fire torches up a mountain, as they celebrate Newroz Day, a festival marking their spring and new year, in the town of Akra, Iraq.
Reuters

Nowruz (also spelled Newruz), one of the oldest festivals known to mankind, marks the arrival of spring and new year, and is celebrated in countries that use the Persian calendar, such as Iraq, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It is celebrated on March 20 or one day before or after, depending on where in the world it is being celebrated, every year. The current Persian year is 1396.

Families celebrate the festival in different ways. They spend the weeks by cleaning their homes and doing repair work. This cleansing process is known in Farsi as khaneh takani (or “shaking the house”). However, nowadays celebrations take on a political edge, with many participants wearing PKK symbols at large gatherings in cities like Diyarbakır, the biggest city in Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey.

For many faiths, including Zoroastrians, this festival is regarded as a holy one. The festival is the most important event in the Iranian calendar. It is widely celebrated in different forms across the territories of the old Persian empire, including the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East. It is spelled variously as Novruzit, Novruz, Nauruz, Navruzi, Navarōjha, Nawryz, Noruz, Nuruz, Nevruz and Navruz.

Food is another important aspect of the festival. A traditional Persian New Year celebration involves a huge table full of goodies that are culturally associated with the festival. In this gallery, IBTimes Singapore brings you a glimpse of the Persian New Year.

Persian New Year

A Kurdish fighter from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) takes part during a celebration for the spring festival of Newroz, in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli near the Turkish border, Syria.
Reuters

Persian New Year

People gesture during a gathering celebrating Newroz in Diyarbakir, Turkey.
Reuters

Persian New Year

An Afghan girl holds balloons during Newroz Day celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Reuters

Persian New Year

People gesture during a gathering celebrating Newroz in Istanbul, Turkey.
Reuters

Persian New Year

Iranian American volunteer Marjan Vayghan, 32, (C) dances with people on Skid Row after serving food to homeless people to celebrate Newroz in Los Angeles, California.
Reuters

Persian New Year

A woman walks past a bonfire during a gathering celebrating Newroz in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey.
Reuters

Persian New Year

People gesture during a gathering celebrating Newroz in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey.
Reuters

Persian New Year

Afghan families arrive at a shrine to celebrate Newroz in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Reuters

Persian New Year

People gesture during a gathering celebrating Newroz in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey.
Reuters

Persian New Year

A man on a donkey sells balloons during Newroz celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Reuters

Persian New Year

Fireworks explode over a mountain in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Akra during Newroz celebrations.
Reuters

Persian New Year

Iraqi Kurdish people celebrate Newroz, in the town of Akra.
Reuters

Persian New Year

Kurdish Peshmerga forces celebrate Newroz in Kirkuk, Iraq.
Reuters



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