UNESCO approves Noruz collective feast of 12 nations

November 30, 2016 - 16:50

TEHRAN – The celebration of Noruz, the New Year shared by 12 countries, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO on Wednesday.

Noruz marks the beginning of spring across a vast geographical area. It is celebrated on March 21st every year.

The decision was made during the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, taking place until December 2 in Ethiopia.

Noruz was initially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009, as a common tradition for Iran, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

Later in a meeting held in Tehran in January 2014, five other countries - namely Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Iraq - put in requests officially to be added to the list.

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 practiced in Kyrgyzstan.

UNESCO comments that Noruz promotes the values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families, as well as reconciliation and neighborliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and various communities.


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