UN chief says Noruz carries ‘strong message of peace’

March 17, 2011 - 0:0

The spirit of peace and harmony in Noruz, the Persian spring festival marking the New Year, is more appropriate than ever at a time of upheaval and pressing concerns in much of the world, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.

In his message for the International Day of Noruz, which is celebrated on March 21 each year, Ban called on people worldwide to “let the spirit of Noruz prevail”.
Nouz means “new day” in Farsi and marks the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.
The UN secretary general said, “Noruz is a day for renewal. It is an opportunity to reflect on the intimate links between people and the natural world. And it carries a strong message of peace and harmony between peoples of all cultures on the basis of mutual respect and understanding.
“These timeless values are at the heart of the mission of the United Nations, and are more relevant than ever as we grapple with such pressing global concerns as environmental degradation, human rights abuses, intolerance and armed conflict.”
An estimated 300 million people worldwide celebrate Noruz, with traditions and rituals particularly strong in the Balkans, the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions, the Caucasus, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East.
Noruz is also inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
A special concert was held at the General Assembly Hall at UN headquarters in New York, featuring music, costumes and rituals from the Turkic region. The UN also plans to hold a tree planting ceremony at a park in Tehran, Iran.