Spring festival celebrates a world of difference

Posted by pt91 at Mar 16, 2018 05:30 PM |
Kurds in Leicester mark multinational New Year Day celebration

Issued by University of Leicester on 16 March 2018

Photo opportunities: Fraser Noble Building, London Road, Leicester

Saturday 17 March 2018, 5pm-10pm

A celebration of more than 3,000 years of traditions, customs and festivity is to be held at the University of Leicester.

Newroz, (or Novruz, Nauryz) is a celebration of New Year across many different cultures in the Middle East and include parts of Central Asia, Caucasus, South Asia, Northwestern China, the Crimea and some groups in the Balkans.

The event is hosted by the Kurdistan International Studies Unit and the Kurdish Students Society of University of Leicester. Lord Mayor, Councillor Rashmikant Joshi will be in attendance.

Newroz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in a number of calendars. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and families gather together to observe the rituals. However, for the Kurdish people, Newroz also means struggle, resilience for survival and collective democratic rights. For this reason the celebration is the biggest festival for the Kurdish world.

Dr Omer Tekdemir, a Principal Investigator and co-organiser of the cultural project, said: “the United Nations (UN) accepted the Newroz as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, this multinational New Year Day is celebrated by many different communities, but it has a different social, cultural and political meaning for the each of them.”

Dr Tekdemir added: “Moreover, the day promotes values of peace, diversity, and empathy between various societies and creates a hope for a conflict resolution of the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. It also contributes to Leicester City’s community engagement alongside the Caribbean Carnival, St. George’s Festival, Chinese New Year and Diwali.”

Awat Mulla, the president of Kurdish Society at Leicester and co-organiser, said: “Being away from my home country and celebrating Newroz  has a great value for us as students in Leicester. We hope Newroz puts a pathway to replace war with co-existing together in peace and harmony in the region”.

To celebrate the occasion a panel discussion will take place:

What does Newroz mean to people?

Chair: Dr Ipek Demir, School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester

Discussant: Dr Omer Tekdemir, School of History,

Politics and IR, University of Leicester


Dr Necla Acik, School of Law, University of Manchester

Dr Mehmet Kurt, School of Social Science, University of Manchester

There will be traditional Kurdish tea and sweets, a Kurdish local singer and dancing.


Notes to editors:

For more info: KISU@leicester.ac.uk

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