Nowruz is the holiday also known as the Iranian New Year, which is celebrated worldwide by the Iranian and Turkic peoples, along with some other ethno-linguistic groups, as the beginning of the New Year.
The UN's 64th General Assembly recognized the International Day of Nowruz in 2010 at the suggestion of Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran and the states of Central Asia.
During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations on September 30, 2009, Nowruz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
General Assembly recognized 21 March as the International Day of Nowruz on February 24, 2010.
In Azerbaijan, Novruz is one of the oldest and favorite holidays. It absorbed the traditional values of the Azerbaijani people. Novruz in Azerbaijan is a spring holiday that celebrates the revival of nature, moral purity and equality.
Novruz is the holiday of spring, joy, merriment and nature’s renewal. According to tradition, all the members of the family should be at home on the first day of the holiday (March 20-21). People say: 'If you are not at home on the day of the holiday, you will live without a home for seven years'.
Azerbaijanis pay particular attention to the table laid for the holiday. There should be 7 varieties of food on the table the names of which start with the letter 's' , for example sumakh (a kind of spice), sirke (vinegar), sud (milk), samani (grown wheat), sebzi (fried meat with greens). A mirror with coloured eggs on it and candles should also be on the table. The candle is a symbol of fire and light (keeping a person from harm), the mirror is a symbol of happiness.
Turkmenistan will celebrate Novruz this year on March 2-22.
In 2017, Iran will start new year on March 20 at 13:28:40 (Moscow time). It will be 1396th, according to the Islamic lunar calendar, since the year when Muhammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina. The vacation in Iran lasts 13 days.