First Official Celebration of Nowruz - The Festival of Spring took place in Dublin
Nowruz (meaning "New Day" in Persian) is a traditional New Year celebration which marks the coming of the spring equinox (March 20-21st). Every year over 300 million people from around the world celebrate Nowruz, which originated in the geographical area called Persia, in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Sheelan Yousefizadeh, an Ambassador for Change with the Immigrant Council of Ireland organised an interculturalism celebration and encouraged new solidarity between communities. This year, for the first time ever, Dublin City took part in this worldwide celebration by hosting an evening of Music, Dancing and Poetry put together by Dublin City council and communities of Afghan, Azerbaijani, Baha’i, Iranian, Kazakh, Kurdish and Turkish.
The event introduced Nowruz to Ireland while showcasing the various cultures involved and highlighting the strong spirit that exists within these communities in Ireland. "I wanted to unite these cultures and show that despite what we might see in the media, people from all these different countries can work together for a common cause", Sheelan added.
Emer Costello, MEP for Dublin, expressed her support for what she described as a "feast of culture", adding that she hoped the Dublin event would become "an essential part of the cultural calendar". She also emphasised the urgent need for greater integration and vindication of rights for Ireland’s migrant communities.
A special exhibition in celebration of Nowruz, "A journey through the Silk Road countries", will be held at City Hall until 28 March, showcasing work by artists from Azerbaijan, Ireland, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Yemen.
More about Nowruz:
Nowruz announces the joyful awakening of nature after winter and the beginning of spring. It is a celebration of a new season and the continuation of the cycle of life and hope.
This festivity is among the most unique cultural events amongst countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. It is a time when people can leave their differences aside and come together and greet a "New Day’ (Nowruz).
Nowruz transcends all religious and ethnic divisions to unite all, for this one celebration to greet the regeneration of the earth and it has done so for many millennia. So Nowruz signifies not only the New Year and arrival of spring but also represents unity, love and respect for old traditions and customs.