This year, the main celebrations to mark the Navrouz festival were supposed to take place in the northern city of Panjakent on March 21 but they were adjourned until March 25 or 26h in connection with President Emomali Rahmon’s participation in the UN events dedicated to the International Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development” that will take place in New York, an official source at the Ministry of Culture told Asia-Plus in an interview.

“The exact date of holding the Navrouz festival celebrations in Panjakent will become known within a couple of days,” the source told Asia-Plus Friday afternoon.     

Recall, Emomali Rahmon is expected to visit New York from March 21-23.

Meanwhile, the Navrouz festival celebrations in Dushanbe will start on March 21.  Festive concerts will take place in all Dushanbe’s districts and a theatrical show will be held at the Navrouzgoh Complex in the evening of March 25. 

Navrouz, which literary means New Day in Persian, Dari and Tajik languages, is the traditional Iranian new year holiday, celebrated by Iranian and many other peoples.  It marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (the start of spring in the northern hemisphere), which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed.  Today, the festival of Navrouz is celebrated in many countries, including Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, as well as Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.  Many peoples in West and South Asia, Northeast China, the Crimea, as well as Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia also celebrate this holiday.

In September 2009, the UN's cultural agency, UNESCO, included Navrouz in its list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  On February 23, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the International Day of Navrouz.