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Editorial: Nawroz celebration

The first day of the New Year in Afghanistan is called Nawroz. It begins on the spring equinox, and is being celebrated worldwide by various ethno-linguistic groups. The first day of our month is “Hamal”. Nawroz is a rite dating back to at least the 6th centuries BC. This historic rite is observed on 21 March in many countries, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Given the theme of honoring nature, giving thanks and renewal, the celebrations have a lot to do with symbolic gestures of love, reunion, kinship and a joyful reminder to all of us. People do everything to make a delicious “Haft” means the number of seven in Farsi and stands for the letter “S”. The haft-seen is a table-scope arrangement of seven symbolic items all starting with the letter S. Traditionally the youngest members of the family receive gifts, usually in the form of fresh bills of money in envelopes. Like many other cultures, the celebrations are centered on delicious food. And of course Afghani foods are unique and flavorsome. The UN also marked 21 March as International Nowruz Day. It won’t be wrong to say that this day is a celebration of spring and the connection between humans and nature. Moreover, in 2016, it was added to UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, recognizing a celebration that’s withstood, quite and remarkably. Nowroz celebration was banned under the Taliban regime, who considered it a pagan festival, but many families were still celebrated in private. The celebration was put back on truck after the collapse of the Taliban regime. Afghans not only celebrate this day but also thousands of Afghans head to Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital city of Balkh province to visit the Shrine of “Hazart Ali” and celebrate it in a very unique way. People also attend the Guli Surkh festival, Nowroz’s main event, it commemorates the first 40 days of the year, when the green plains are awash with red tulips. The core reason behind Nawroz celebration is to kick start new year and forget about the past. But in a country like Afghanistan, we can’t forget the past as everyday there is a turmoil and bad news. The civilians are keep getting killed. But we are not pathetic soul. We try to forget our miseries as Nawroz is a great pretext to forget the bloody past. Lingering on in the past, will disconnect ourselves form present and miss out the exciting and beautiful things that are happening around. But it also applies to the Afghan government and the Taliban. They should also forget about the past and come up to the fore with a peaceful solution to the Afghan conflict and let the Afghan people to live a peaceful life and return our civilization back.

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