Nauroz is the Iranian/Persian New Year which follows the Persian calendar. Celebrated in Iran, Turkey, Central Asian republics, Iraq, Azerbaijan as well as Afghanistan. The festival is observed during the March equinox, marking the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar. — Photos and texts by Agencies
Afghan young men jump over a fire as they celebrate Nauroz, the Persian New Year festival in Herat.
Afghans gather to celebrate their New Year, Nauroz in Kabul.
Afghans gather to celebrate Nauroz in Kabul.
Afghan children play on a manually operated ferris wheel during a celebration for Nauroz.
An Afghan man prays during Nauroz.
An Afghan boy sells balloons during a Nauroz gathering.
Afghan families gather on top of their roofs near Sakhi shrine, the centre of the Afghanistan New Year celebrations in Kabul.
An Afghan man tries to kiss a religious pole at a gathering to celebrate Nauroz. A pole-erecting ceremony, where men erect a flag pole with a bouquet of plastic flowers, is held as part of Nowruz celebrations to symbolize good fortune in the new year.
An Afghan plays on a swing near the Sakhi shrine.
An Afghan family sits and eats ice-cream near the Sakhi shrine.
A Hazara ethnic girl holds an Afghanistan flag at the Sakhi shrine.
Afghan revellers gather for Nauroz festivities in the Sakhi shrine.
Iraqi Kurdish residents celebrate Nauroz Day, a festival marking their spring and the Persian New Year, in Kirkuk.
Iraqi Kurdish residents celebrate Nauroz Day.