(Clockwise from top) Artists present a traditional dance, women serve food at the Kazakhstan stall and Iranian items on display at the event celebrating Nowruz on Sunday. — White Star
(Clockwise from top) Artists present a traditional dance, women serve food at the Kazakhstan stall and Iranian items on display at the event celebrating Nowruz on Sunday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Exotic food, music and dancing brought together guests celebrating Nowruz, the Iranian New Year – also known as Persian New Year – on Sunday.

The event was organised by Serena Hotels in collaboration with the diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the United Nations.

The celebrations were a family affair, beginning in the morning and inaugurated by President Arif Alvi.

Guests strolled through stalls set up by embassies while children played out in the sun in the hotel gardens.

Many people could be seen enjoying seasonal beverages and taking in the music, and the pleasant day offered the perfect backdrop for selfies and family photos.

Each mission had displayed traditional and cultural artefacts, such as vases, carpets, jewellery and other decorative items, as well as photographs of famous sites and ordinary citizens.

“The best part about this entire fair is the many different types of food. This is the first time I have tried the Turkmen delicacy borek, which is a pastry filled with cheese, and the Turkmen pilau is equally delicious,” said a visitor.

“One of the organizers advised us to skip breakfast and save our appetite for the freshly baked goods,” another guest remarked.

The array of foods was overwhelming and sure to satisfy any cravings.

While Turkish doner kebabs, sweets, and baklava were being sold the stall set up by the Embassy of Turkey, the Tajik and Kazakh embassy stalls offered beef dumplings known as mantu, sambusa (samosa), walnut cakes, savoury lassi and a dessert called shekarbura.

On stage, young men also performed dances to traditional folk music.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2019