Nowruz Festival Celebrated With Traditional Fervour

Nowruz Festival Celebrated With Traditional Fervour
The festival of Nowruz was celebrated across the country on March 21. Different communities in northern parts of the country besides Punjab and Sindh celebrate this Anglo-Iranian to mark the arrival of spring in a traditional and unique way.

Nowruz, which means, 'New Day', is an ancient festival that dates back to around 3,000 years, wherein people from different faiths and ethnicities all over the world meet their loved ones and make food to celebrate the arrival of spring.

In 2010, March 21 was declared as the International Nowruz Day by the United Nations following the affiliation of several communities with the festival across the world.

Traditionally, different events and activities take place in connection with this festival that is also the first day of the Persian New Year. Different functions are held in Hunza, Gilgit, Gupis, Yasin, and Chitral to commemorate the festival.

Ali Karim, a resident of Hunza, said, "We believe that Nowruz is the day of a new beginning, setting new goals and making new commitments.

"Shia Ismaili Muslims across the world celebrate this event with fervour owing to their strong links with the Persia-Iran," he added.

The Shia Ismailis in northern areas, Sindh and Punjab celebrate this festival by cooking delicious foods, painting eggs, and decorating buildings and houses.

The Parsi minority community living in Karachi also organises events in their housing societies in relation to Nowruz.

They call it Jamshedi Nowruz as it is said that it was during King Jamshed's era that Nowruz was declared a national festival of Iran.

Historians, Dr Muhammad Ali Manjhi and Amin Joyo, say that Durranis, who arrived in Sindh from Central Asia, also celebrated Nowruz during the regime.

Nowruz gives the message of hope and positivity that is required to face the current challenges in the country, said Maheraj Ali, a youth belonging to Shia Ismaili community, living in Sujawal's outskirts.

Speaking to The Friday Times, Naseer Ali Qazmi, a local scholar, said Nauroz is more like a cultural festival, rather than a religious one and it has been celebrated by Muslims throughout the history.

The author is a practicing lawyer and freelance journalist. His areas of interest are cultural diversity and socio-political issues of Sindh.