Novruz Party in the United Kingdom
2009-03-19 - London

Odlar Yurdu Organisation solemnly celebrated Novruz in London. The event, which involved young Azerbaijani and international students, was one of several interesting Novruz festivities held in the city. Participants at the event had the chance to try Azerbaijani national dishes and enjoyed listening to Azerbaijani music.

Novruz is a special day for all Azerbaijanis and the country’s main holiday. In 2010 UNESCO declared 21 March International Novruz Day, and in the past year this holiday has also been included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. This day marks the beginning of the New Year and the awakening of nature in the ancient Azerbaijani calendar.

Novruz is Azerbaijan’s traditional ancient holiday: the organizers invited event participants with the following statement: ‘It is very important to celebrate this holiday together by tasting Azerbaijani dishes and exchanging symbols of Novruz. I invite everybody who has not been to Azerbaijan to visit this country.’

It was noted at the event that although the origins of Novruz, which predates Christianity and Islam, remain mysterious, this holiday is mainly celebrated as the coming of the New Year and spring. Five days are given over to celebrating this holiday in Azerbaijan. Trees are planted, eggs are painted, and pakhlava and other sweets are cooked during this holiday. Semeni (germinating wheat seeds) form the basis for holiday table decorations.

The success of this solemn evening proved that Novruz is significant not only within the boundaries of Azerbaijan, but also around the world.