Navruz added to UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

BISHKEK (TCA) — The celebration of Navruz, the New Year holiday shared by 12 countries including in Central Asia, was inscribed on November 30 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, following the decisions adopted by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, UNESCO said on its website.

The Representative List includes forms of expression that testify to the diversity of intangible heritage and raises awareness of its importance.

New Year in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan is celebrated on March 21st known as Nauryz, Navruz, Nawrouz, Nevruz, Nooruz, Novruz, Nowrouz or Nowruz. For two weeks, various customs take place including a special meal, family visits, public rituals and street performances to encourage peaceful communities, shared and promoted through participation.

Nowruz (“New Day” in Persian) has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Western Asia. Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox, and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Although having Iranian and religious Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethno-linguistic communities for thousands of years. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians.

Sergey Kwan

TCA