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03/28/2013

Nowroz (New Year) in Afghanistan!

This year, the Nowroz festival holds even more significance and importance in the lives of Afghans since the United Nation’s General Assembly recognized 21 March as International Day of Nowroz.
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Every year, tens of thousands of people travel to the northern Afghanistan city of Mazar-e Sharif to watch the elaborate ceremony in Hazrat Ali tomb.
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One of the most significant symbolic traditions of Nowroz in Afghanistan is Haft Mewa “Seven Fruits”, the “seven fruits” table starts with seven dried fruits:- Raisins, Senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Prunes (dry fruit of apricot), Walnuts and either Almond or another species of Plum fruit and it is like a fruit salad (fruit chat), served in the fruits’ syrup.
【7 dried fruits for Haft Mewa】
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【Made Haft Mewa】
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Traditionally, Afghan women celebrate Nowroz with Samanak: - it is made of wheat germ and is a special Afghan female tradition, they cook it from late in the evening until daylight and during this cooking time, the women gather around and sing Nowroz’s songs (exp: hala Nowroz raghi/ hala Nowroz amad), accompanied with special drums and dancing and no men are allowed to take part in this ceremony.

【An Afgan woman while making Samanak on Nowroz day】
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【Lunch on Nowroz day】
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The official speech, the president calls upon the special security guard to start the New Year (Nowroz) celebration with three shots of cannon, following the three shots then a huge flag is raise from the ground and People watch the movement carefully (if it rises hard and slowly, a bad year is predicted but if the flag is risen gently, the New Year is predicted a fortunate and happiness year) after 40 days government official come and put down the flag as it raised.

When the day’s ceremony ended, the night’s ceremonies arrive full of music and concerts, every year lots of top singers are invited by the government to travel from Europe and America to Afghanistan and sing for the New Year celebration, Not only Afghan singers are invited but groups of musicians and singers from Pakistan, India, Iran, Turkey, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are included to participate and demonstrate their culture alongside Afghan artists.

After the official ceremony, people head to a huge field for a game of Buzkashi, an ancient traditional sport where riders on horses compete over a goat or calf carcass.

March 28, 2013 in Afghanistan |