White House celebrates Novruz

13 March 2015 13:40 (UTC+04:00)

By Nigar Orujova

The White House has celebrated Novruz Holiday, a holiday which is celebrated around the world and marks the arrival of spring. Each year, millions of people around the world celebrate the arrival of springtime with the festival of Novruz - mid-March.

A reception was organized in the White House by the first lady, Michelle Obama.

“For more than 3,000 years, families and communities in the Middle East, Asia, and all around the world, including here in the United States, have celebrated this holiday to mark the renewal of the earth in springtime -- and we’re finally feeling spring!” Michelle Obama said.

The celebration included a gala dinner and entertainment. The event was attended by representatives of country where Novruz is a national holiday.

The Silk Road Dance Company performed a national Azerbaijan dance, Nelbeki, at the ceremony.

The first lady noted that the White House reflects the diversity of culture and traditions.

Novruz is an ancient holiday that presents the culture, national and spiritual values of countries such as Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran and Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and many others.

The most cherished holiday of the Azerbaijani people, Novruz has an ancient history linked to Zoroastrianism, the oldest of the monotheist religions. Another theory suggests that Novruz dates back to ancient Mesopotamia.

The integral feature of Novruz holiday in Azerbaijan is freshly sprouted wheat Samani and the festive Khoncha tray, full of national sweets, dyed eggs and candles.

The festive holiday was included into the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009.


Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar

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