Representational Picture

Also known as Nowruz-e-Alam, International Nowruz Day was recognised by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/64/253 of 2010, at the initiative of several countries that share this holiday which include Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Kashmir and Turkmenistan. March 21 is celebrated as the beginning of the New Year in the Persian calendar.

Also, this ‘rebirth of nature’ is celebrated in Kashmir with the same fervour and gaiety as in the entire Central Asia. Its significance is also marked because the sun turns from cold to warm. People plant as many trees as possible on this day. (Coincidentally, this day is also marked as World Arbour Day.)

There is a belief that glaciers start melting the night before Nowroz and new waters fill the streams and rivers due to which children are advised to bathe in the rivers on this auspicious day. People also take leech therapy from barbers and hakeems on Nowruz.

This year, on March 20, the festival of Holi began and will end today.