What is Nowruz and why do we celebrate it
Cultural Council of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran > News > Iran News > What is Nowruz and why do we celebrate it

The word Nowruz (Novruz, Navruz, Nooruz, Nevruz, Nauryz), means new day; its spelling and pronunciation may vary by country.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on 21 March. It is celebrated as the beginning of the new year by more than 300 million people all around the world and 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.

Inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a cultural tradition observed by numerous peoples, Nowruz is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities.

Nowruz plays a significant role in strengthening the ties among peoples based on mutual respect and the ideals of peace and good neighbourliness. Its traditions and rituals reflect the cultural and ancient customs of the civilizations of the East and West, which influenced those civilizations through the interchange of human values.

Celebrating Nowruz means the affirmation of life in harmony with nature, awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and a solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.


UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s message for 2023

Nowruz marks new beginnings.
A “new day”.
A new year.
The arrival of spring and rebirth of nature.

For more than 300 million people around the world, it is a time for family and friends to come together, reflect on the past and look forward to a brighter future.

Nowruz is also a celebration of humanity’s rich cultural heritage and diversity. And a chance – for all of us – to be guided by its values of peace, dialogue and solidarity:

  • To reaffirm our commitment to human rights and dignity;
  • To promote mutual respect and reconciliation;
  • To protect the planet and live in harmony with nature.

As we celebrate Nowruz, let us choose hope and compassion, embrace the opportunities that lie ahead, and work together to building a more peaceful, more sustainable and more inclusive world for all.

May this Nowruz bring you joy, good health and prosperity.