Nowruz celebrations mark beginning of spring

New Year celebrated in colourful ways in countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Azerbaijan.

| Arts & Culture, Asia, Afghanistan, Iran

Nowruz, the Persian word for "new year", is an ancient festival, celebrated on the first day of spring in countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Azerbaijan.

In Kurdish communities, the event, which marks the spring equinox, is called Newroz.

The holiday has been celebrated in various forms since 555 BC.

This year hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi Kurds stranded at the Greek border camp of Idomeni celebrated  the new year in refugee camps.

A few hundred refugees gathered around a large bonfire singing and chanting: "Long live Kurdistan" and "Blessed Newroz".

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