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SCO holds celebration in Beijing to mark the start of spring


03-22-2017 08:24 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

Monday marked the Navruz holiday, or the celebration of New Year across parts of the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Asia. Here in Beijing, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization held a celebration for diplomats and foreigners from countries that celebrate Navruz.

Many across the world are celebrating Navruz. But some diplomats here in Beijing are not missing out on the festivities either.

Instead of following the traditional rituals of Navruz, Monday's celebration was more of a party to exchange traditional cultures among Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states.

Navruz holiday marks the beginning of Spring in the northern Hemisphere, and is more than 3000 years old. It was first celebrated in the Persia region, before spreading to neighboring countries in western and central Asia.

The exact moment of Navruz varies, as it depends the occurrence of vernal equinox -- a time when day and night are of equal duration. This year, it falls on March 20th.

Nowruz coincides with the start of spring and traditionally celebrates the rebirth of nature.

Celebrations vary across different regions. In Iran, it lasts from days before Navruz to the 13th day of the New Year. People would carry out a thorough cleaning of their homes and engage in other traditions, like jumping over bonfires and asking for treats in the neighborhood.

The United Nations General Assembly recognised March the 21st as the International Day of Nowruz in 2010. In 2016, the festival was added to the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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