March 23, 2016, Washington, D.C. – Every year, millions of Iranians all over the world celebrate the Persian New Year, Nowruz. Iranians observe this holiday by visiting family and friends, celebrating a season of new life and wishing for good luck in the year ahead.
The United Nations formally recognized Nowruz as an international holiday in 2010 calling on Member States that celebrate the holiday to study its history and traditions with a view to disseminating that knowledge among the international community and organizing annual commemoration events. The UN recognizes that “more than 300 million people worldwide as the beginning of the new year. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.”
President Obama has extended Nowruz greetings to observers since 2009. This year, he said that the White House would be serving “sabzi polo and fish” at First Lady Michelle Obama’s Persian New Year Celebration. In his Nowruz greeting, Obama further urged support for the Iran Nuclear Deal and said that this year represented the “best opportunity in decades” to pursue a different relationship between their two countries. “This moment may not come again soon,” Obama said in his message celebrating Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. “I believe that our nations have an historic opportunity to resolve this issue peacefully – an opportunity we should not miss.”
Other Heads of State have also made Nowruz greetings to celebrate this international holiday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the New Year praising the contributions its observers have made in Canada. “Canada’s cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and a source of pride. As Nowruz brings together people of many different cultures, religions, and languages, let us take this time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Persian, Central Asian, Kurdish and Ismaili Canadians across the country.”
Prime Minister, David Cameron, addressed the Iranian communities in the UK by thanking them for the contributions they have made to their country. “From education and business to the arts and public services, you help to make Britain great. And as you reflect on the fundamental values of Nowruz – peace, solidarity and reconciliation – know that it is in the spirit of those values that the UK and Iran have taken important steps to develop our relationship over the past 12 months.”
PAAIA wishes you all a Happy Nowruz as your families celebrate this international holiday!
Har ruzetan Nowruz, Nowruzetan piruz!