Novruz, Nowrouz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz, Nevruz


Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© 2008 Competent Bodies of the Submitting: •Azerbaijan: Department of Cultural Policy of Ministry of Culture and Tourism •Iran: Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization, Deputy in Cultural Heritage, Directorate for the Inscription of the Historical, Cultural, and Natural Heritage, the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO •Kyrgyz Republic: Ministry of Culture and Information •Turkey: Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Directorate General of Education and Research, Intangible Cultural Heritage Section •Uzbekistan: Department of the Folklore of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Fine Arts Research Institute of the Academy of Arts, National Commission of Uzbekistan for UNESCO
Novruz, Nowrouz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz or Nevruz marks the New Year and the beginning of spring across a vast geographical area covering, inter alia, Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. It is celebrated on 21 March every year, a date originally determined by astronomical calculations. Novruz is associated with various local traditions, such as the evocation of Jamshid, a mythological king of Iran, and numerous tales and legends. The rites that accompany the festivity vary from place to place, ranging from leaping over fires and streams in Iran to tightrope walking, leaving lit candles at house doors, traditional games such as horse racing or the traditional wrestling practised in Kyrgyzstan. Songs and dances are common to almost all the regions, as are semi-sacred family or public meals. Children are the primary beneficiaries of the festivities and take part in a number of activities, such as decorating hard-boiled eggs. Women play a key role in organizing Novruz and passing on its traditions. Novruz promotes the values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families, as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and various communities.