Five presidents celebrate Persian New Year in Tehran

March 18, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN – The ancient Persian New Year (Noruz) festivities were held at the Sadabad Palace in Tehran with the participation of the presidents of Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iraq, and Turkmenistan.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad along with his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talebani, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, and Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamed attended the event convened for the first time as the United Nations recognized Noruz as an international day on February 23, 2010.
Several foreign ministers as well as foreign officials from ten countries are also guests to the ancient celebrations.
A similar ceremony will be held in the ancient city of Shiraz on Sunday where they will tour the mausoleums of Saadi and Hafiz - the two great Persian poets – and the Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar).
President Ahmadinejad told the ceremony that Noruz is an “inseparable part of our common culture”. Ahmadinejad also said Noruz has the potential to deepen cultural relationship between all nations.
Noruz invites all to shun bad thoughts and hostilities and cherish goodness and beauties, Ahmadinejad noted.
The president added Noruz is sending the message that the era of sadness is over and a life full of peace and friendship is blossoming.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a minority Kurd in Arab-dominated Iraq, said “We are celebrating together Noruz today and promoting the Noruz banner as one of justice, freedom, equality and fraternity among all countries.”
Noruz which begins on the first day of spring, around March 21, is celebrated by 300 million people. In addition to Iran, it is marked in the two Persian-speaking countries of Tajikistan and Afghanistan as well as Turkmenistan and the Republic of Azerbaijan and parts of Kyrgyzstan. It is also celebrated by Kurdish populations in Iraq and Turkey.
The observance of Noruz which lasts for 13 days leans heavily on the rebirth of earth and its crops. In spring, everything is renewed and reborn in nature. Flowers bloom and trees blossom. On the 13th day of New Year called Sizdeh-bedar, everyone goes on a picnic. -