The Department of Immigration and Citizenship extended its best wishes today to the many Australians celebrating Nowruz or popuilarly known in India as Navroz, the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere.
“Nowruz, or ‘new day’ has been celebrated for more than 3000 years and falls on the day of spring equinox,” a departmental spokesman said. India has a big community of Parsis in Maharashtra and Gujarat and they celebrate the festival as the new year.
“It is celebrated on March 21 each year and is a celebration of life — a day to celebrate the value of mutual respect and the promote harmony – among families, neighbourhoods and communities.
“Nowruz also coincides with Harmony Day in Australia, which is a celebration of what makes each Australian unique and share what we have in common.
“Although widely referred to as the Iranian New Year, today Nowruz is celebrated by many people from the Balkans, the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions, the Caucasus, Central and South Asia and the Middle East.
“The proclamation of the day by the United Nations General Assembly as an International Day, and the inscription on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, are testimonies to the historical and cultural significance of this ancient festival.
“We send our best wishes to all Australians who celebrate Nowruz for a happy, prosperous and a healthy year ahead.”