Nauroz festival celebrated in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey

Published March 21, 2016
Iraqi Kurds carry fire torches up a mountain in Akra, Iraq. ─ Reuters
Iraqi Kurds carry fire torches up a mountain in Akra, Iraq. ─ Reuters
A Kurdish man holds up a torch while he and others celebrate Nowruz in Akra, Iraq. ─ AP
A Kurdish man holds up a torch while he and others celebrate Nowruz in Akra, Iraq. ─ AP
Iraqi Kurds carry fire torches up a mountain in Akra, Iraq. ─ Reuters
Iraqi Kurds carry fire torches up a mountain in Akra, Iraq. ─ Reuters
Afghan families living on a hill watch Nowruz celebrations, at the Kart-e-Sakhi Shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan. ─ AP
Afghan families living on a hill watch Nowruz celebrations, at the Kart-e-Sakhi Shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan. ─ AP
Afghan devotees cheer as they lift a holy mace in front of The Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. ─ AFP
Afghan devotees cheer as they lift a holy mace in front of The Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. ─ AFP
Afghan men kiss the holy mace for blessings during Nowruz. ─ AP
Afghan men kiss the holy mace for blessings during Nowruz. ─ AP
Afghan devotees cheer as they lift a holy mace in front of The Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. ─ AFP
Afghan devotees cheer as they lift a holy mace in front of The Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. ─ AFP
Afghan devotees cheer as they watch others lift a holy mace in front of The Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. ─ AFP
Afghan devotees cheer as they watch others lift a holy mace in front of The Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. ─ AFP
Afghan youths fly kites as devotees gather to watch proceedings at The Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. ─ AFP
Afghan youths fly kites as devotees gather to watch proceedings at The Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. ─ AFP
Afghan boys play on a merry-go-round during celebrations for Nowruz. ─ Reuters
Afghan boys play on a merry-go-round during celebrations for Nowruz. ─ Reuters
Afghan childen ride on a swing at a fair set up in a field at The Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. ─ AFP
Afghan childen ride on a swing at a fair set up in a field at The Sakhi Shrine in Kabul. ─ AFP
Members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of (KDP-Iran), perform a traditional dance as they celebrate Nowruz. ─ AFP
Members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of (KDP-Iran), perform a traditional dance as they celebrate Nowruz. ─ AFP
Iraqi Kurds carry fire torches up a mountain in Akra, Iraq. ─ Reuters
Iraqi Kurds carry fire torches up a mountain in Akra, Iraq. ─ Reuters
Iraqi Kurds carry fire torches up a mountain in Akra, Iraq. ─ Reuters
Iraqi Kurds carry fire torches up a mountain in Akra, Iraq. ─ Reuters
Peshmerga members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of (KDP-Iran), perform a traditional dance as they celebrate Nowruz. ─ AFP
Peshmerga members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of (KDP-Iran), perform a traditional dance as they celebrate Nowruz. ─ AFP
Iranian Kurdish women perform a traditional dance as they celebrate Nowruz. ─ AFP
Iranian Kurdish women perform a traditional dance as they celebrate Nowruz. ─ AFP
Iranian Kurdish women perform a traditional dance as they celebrate Nowruz. ─ AFP
Iranian Kurdish women perform a traditional dance as they celebrate Nowruz. ─ AFP
An Iranian Kurdish woman looks on in Koya, northern Iraq. ─ AFP
An Iranian Kurdish woman looks on in Koya, northern Iraq. ─ AFP
Iraqi Kurdish children pose for a photo. ─ AFP
Iraqi Kurdish children pose for a photo. ─ AFP
Iraqi Kurds walk with their lit torches up a mountain in Akra. ─ AFP
Iraqi Kurds walk with their lit torches up a mountain in Akra. ─ AFP
Iraqi Kurdish men celebrate Nowruz with a traditional dance in Akra, Iraq. ─ AFP
Iraqi Kurdish men celebrate Nowruz with a traditional dance in Akra, Iraq. ─ AFP
Burning wood collapses as Kurdish Syrians celebrate Nowruz at the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Greece. ─ AP
Burning wood collapses as Kurdish Syrians celebrate Nowruz at the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Greece. ─ AP
Demonstrators try to protect themselves near a barricade as they clash with security forces during banned Nowruz celebrations in Gazi district in Istanbul, Turkey. ─ AP
Demonstrators try to protect themselves near a barricade as they clash with security forces during banned Nowruz celebrations in Gazi district in Istanbul, Turkey. ─ AP
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei giving a speech during Nowruz celebrations in Mashhad. ─ AFP/Khamenei.ir
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei giving a speech during Nowruz celebrations in Mashhad. ─ AFP/Khamenei.ir

Nauroz, one of the biggest festivals celebrated in Iran, Iraq, the Central Asian republics and Afghanistan, marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar.

It is calculated according to a solar calendar, coinciding with the the vernal (spring) equinox. with this coming year marking 1395.

Nauroz that many associate with the Parsi or Zoroastrian culture is actually more of an Iranian celebration.

It means ‘new day’ in Persian and is the Iranian new year.

Therefore many Parsis, although they celebrate the new year and the beginning of spring by visiting family and friends, don’t always set the special table in their homes.

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