Rouhani heads for Kabul to attend Nowruz festival

Leaving Tehran for Kabul to attend the Persian New Year festival in the Afghan capital, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has urged the countries in the region to seize the occasion of Nowruz to forge closer bonds.

“Today, the regional countries are in dire need of the Nowruz culture, which embodies reconciliation, peace interaction and friendship,” said the president before his departure on Thursday morning.

“Nowruz has transcended [the concept of] a routine holiday period and an old tradition, and has turned into a highly dynamic culture,” President Rouhani underlined.

Nowruz, the first day of Spring and the Persian calendar, fell on March 21 this year. People in Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and other countries mark the occasion with various types of festivities such as games, songs and dances.

Referring to his plans during the day-long visit, Rouhani said, “We will have a trilateral meeting between Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan as three Persian language speaking countries on the sidelines of the festival and cultural, political and economic issues will be discussed during the session.”

Rouhani further noted that countries should grasp every opportunity to convene and discuss different issues and problems and to reach agreements, adding, “The heads and officials from eight countries will convene in Kabul to revive the ancient tradition of Nowruz which is respected by all people in the region.”

Afghanistan is holding the fifth Nowruz festival. Iran hosted the first and second festivals and Turkmenistan and Tajikistan organized the third and fourth ones respectively.

Nowruz, which means New Day, has been celebrated annually for at least 3,000 years. It is one of the oldest and most cherished festivities in Iran. The UNESCO has recognized the occasion as “intangible cultural heritage of Persian origin.”

By Press TV

 

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