This year, the main festive celebrations dedicated to Navrouz will take place in northern Tajikistan

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This year, the main festive celebrations dedicated to Navrouz will take place in Khujand, the capital of the Sughd province.

President Emomali Rahmon will participate in the celebrations and foreign delegations and representatives of Tajik intelligentsia have been invited to attend the celebrations as guests, a source within the Tajik government told Asia-Plus in an interview.

An organizing committee for Navrouz festive celebrations has been set up in Sughd and Sughd governor Rajabboy Ahmadzoda heads the this committee.

On the occasion of Navrouz festival, a number of sports and cultural activities such as wrestling, horse races, buzkashi (goat grabbing) and Sair Guli Lola) (tulip festival) and some others will be organized in Khujand and other cities and districts of the Sughd province.

Navrouz, which literary means New Day in Persian, Dari and Tajik languages, is the traditional Iranian new year holiday, celebrated by Iranian and many other peoples. It marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (the start of spring in the northern hemisphere), which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. Today, the festival of Navrouz is celebrated in many countries, including Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, as well as Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. Many peoples in West and South Asia, Northeast China, the Crimea, as well as Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia also celebrate this holiday.

In September 2009, the UN's cultural agency, UNESCO, included Navrouz in its list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. On February 23, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the International Day of Navrouz.

Source: Asiaplus