Iran expecting China, Mongolia to join UNESCO-registered Noruz

February 18, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran is expecting China and Mongolia to officially join UNESCO-registered Noruz, which marks the beginning of spring and the new year.

In December 2016, Iran and 11 other countries registered Noruz as a common tradition.

The Iranian National Commission for UNESCO in a press release suggested that China and Mongolia may possibly join Noruz that is inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, Mehr reported on Monday.

Noruz, which usually falls on March 21st every year, marks the beginning of spring across a vast geographical area encircling Iran. It was registered as a deep-rooted tradition being practiced in Iran, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Iraq.

Tehran’s Milad Tower is to host an international ceremony in honor of Noruz on February 28, the report said.

Noruz was ratified during the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The feast 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. However, the five other countries put in requests officially to be added to the list during a meeting held in Tehran in January 2014.

According to the UNESCO, 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.

Traditions that are practiced in Noruz vary from place to place, ranging from leaping over fires and streams in Iran to tightrope walking, lighting candles at house doors, traditional games such as horse racing or the traditional wrestling practiced in Kyrgyzstan.

AFM/MQ/MG

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