What is Nowruz ?
Nowruz also spelled as Nouruz is derived from Persian language; “Now” means new, “Ruz” means day , literally it means new day. Nowruz festival is known as Persian new year. Nouruz is the beginning of Spring season in Northern hemisphere. Nouruz festival is also called Spring celebration. It is celebrated on 21st March each year. 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.
Most people in Northern Pakistan try to present Nouroz as an Islamic festival. Nowruz festival has no connection with Islamic tradition. It is a Persian new year celebration as the name suggests and celebrated in Iran, Central Asia, Northern Pakistan and parts of Black sea basin.
Nowruz was first celebrated by Zoroastrian in historical Persia in 612 BC. In Zoroastrianism, the seven most important Zoroastrian festivals are the six Gahambar festivals and Nouruz, which occurs at the spring equinox. The famous scholar Al-Biruni, in his book Kitab al-Tafhim li Awa’il Sina’at al-Tanjim, provides a description of the various calendar of different nations. According to Al-Biruni, ” Iranians belief is that Nouruz marks as the first day when the universe started its motion.
Countries Where Nowruz is celebrated
Nowruz festival is celebrated worldwide by many group of people in Iran, Central Asia, Black sea basin and Caucasus. Here is the list of Countries where Nouruz festival is celebrated:
- Kurdistan (Iraq)
- Gilgit Baltistan (Norhern Pakistan)
- Kargil(Indian Administered Kashmir)
Nowruz in Gilgit Baltistan
In Gilgit Baltistan Nowruz is celebrated on 21st March. On this day eggs are painted with different colors. People visit their relatives and present gifts. Special dishes are presented to guests. In Skardu Polo tournament is held in which polo teams of Khaplu, Shigar , Rondu and Skardu participated. On this day literary activities are organized by different organizations like Bazm e Ilm o fan Skardu , in which local and national poets and scholars are invited.