Navruz celebrations in Brussels

Eleven countries are once again celebrating Navruz – the spring “New Year” holiday of renewal and peace – and The Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Belgium is opening its doors on March 21st to welcome people in joining the festival.

Dilyor Khakimov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan in Belgium, speaking to Brussels Express said “We are glad to extend part of our culture to the people in Belgium and demonstrate the rich traditions that have came from our area of the world”.

Originating in ancient Persia and it’s heritage closely relating to modern-day Yazidi religion, Navruz’s name means “new day”, as for ancient Persians, this was the beginning of the New Year. Persian kings would wear a crown with images of the solar cycle, participate in a mass in the Temple of Fire (a most holy symbol of ancient Persia), and distribute gifts to the festival-goers. The festival has changed since ancient times in order to fit in with Islamic customs but is still characterised by many colourful garms, bonfires, flute music and dancing in big crowds to celebrate the past and welcome the future.

Being a festival of the equinox, Navruz is now yearly celebrated on the 21st of March each year, when the sun enters the astrological cycle of Aires, and is celebrated by many of the neighbouring, ancient silk road countries of Persian heritage, as well as some western provinces of China, Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iraq and the Tatars and Bashkirs in southern Russia.

Good to know

Navruz with different spelling shows up in official calendars of Iran, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Albania, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Autonomous Region of Kurdistan (part of Iraq) and Georgia. In total 187 million people celebrate this day.