This is how Nowruz is celebrated around the world

Millions celebrate Nowruz, a festival that marks the beginning of spring and the new year for people from the Balkans to Central and South Asia.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

People celebrate the 3,000-year-old tradition with costumes, folk dances, food, flowers, and various local ceremonies. It is observed by atheists and followers of many faiths, including Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians and Baha'is.

Updated Mar 24, 2017

Nowruz starts at the moment of the spring equinox, but celebrations can start anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before and continue for several days after. Here, locals from Sulaymaniyah, Iraq dance in celebration. (Anadolu Agency)

Nowruz, known as Nauryz in Kazakhstan, represents fertility, love, and renewal. Festivities include both traditional celebrations and contemporary shows, performances and concerts. (AA)

Nowruz, which means “new day” in Persian, is most closely associated with Iran. Families prepare a spread called “haft-sin” that includes symbolic items like sprouts, goldfish, apples, and garlic. It represents rebirth, life, wealth, health, and beauty, among other things. (Getty)

Fire is an important symbol in the Zoroastrian tradition, as well as Kurdish and Turkic mythology. Girls in Istanbul, Turkey jump over the fire. (AA)

In Uzbekistan, celebrations take the form of dance. (AA)Kyrgyz riders play the traditional Central Asian sport of Kok-Boru (Gray Wolf) or Buzkashi (Goat Grabbing), which entails dumping a stuffed sheepskin into a well, during celebrations for Nowruz in Bishkek. (AFP)

In Turkey, people perform the "Kosa play" in which a man dressed up as the Green Kosa, believed to prevent famine and unhappiness and bring prosperity and happiness for the whole year, kicks the White Kosa, which represents the previous year, winter, and the cold, out of the house. (AA)

Black Wednesday or Day of the Dead is one of the most important stages of Nowruz. Before starting the celebrations, locals visit the cemeteries to commemorate the departed. They plant flowers, wash grave stones and then read the Quran, the holy book of Islam. (AP)

Hundreds of people carrying torches climb the Akre Hill in Iraq's Kurdish region. (AA)

People in Iraq's Kurdish region light sky lanterns to commemorate the civilians and peshmergas who lost their lives during clashes with Daesh. (AA)


TRTWorld and agencies