Celebrations for the Novruz holiday have started in Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev made an address to the nation on the occasion of the holiday during which he also reviewed his government's policies over the last year.
In the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, a self-governed political entity within the Azerbaijani state, the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly Vasif Talibov and his family members joined the festivities. Azertag News Agency reported that Talibov addressed the event to congratulate the people of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan highlighting Nakhchivan`s accomplishments in the past few years.
The Chairman of the Supreme Assembly lit Novruz bonfire.
The official Novruz Holiday is 21 March, which is also recognised by the United Nations as World Novruz Day.Nowruz is the name of the Iranian New Year,also known as the Persian New Year,which is celebrated worldwide by the Iranian peoples, along with some other ethno-linguistic groups, as the beginning of the New Year.
It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin and the Balkans. It marks the first day of the first month (Farvardin) in the Iranian calendar.
Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox, and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day, depending on where it is observed. The moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year, and families gather together to observe the rituals.
Although having Iranian and religious Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethno-linguistic communities for thousands of years. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians.
We wish a Happy Novruz Holiday to all our readers in Azerbaijan, Iran, the caucasus and Central Asia and beyond.
photo: In the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic the Novruz celebrations were led by the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly, Vasif Talibov (picture courtesy of Azertag News Agency
Mammadov has been part of Azerbaijan's ruling circle for a long time. He has headed the Foreign Relations Department of the Presidential Administration since 1997 and was appointed Assistant to the President for Foreign Affairs in 2017. He was also the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration.
Demonstrations and street protests in Armenia gathered momentum on Friday (20 April) with protestors blocking traffic in large parts of the capital Yerevan, before gathering for an evening rally in the centre of the city, an event which observers say attracted up to 50,000 people.