Kurds prepare for Newroz

3/15/2023 7:48:30 PM
Every year around this time, the markets in the Kurdistan region get busy as people prepare for the spring festival of Newroz, or the Kurdish New Year.

Dohuk's main bazaar on Tuesday was buzzing with shoppers who came to buy traditional Kurdish costumes.

"Indeed, all Kurds love the Kurdish costume. We like to wear it and that’s why we came to the bazaar today," said Biaf Saeed, a shopper.

Newroz in Kurdish, or Nowruz in Farsi, means "New Day" and marks the beginning of spring and a new year.

The festival holds political importance for the Kurds, as it symbolizes Kurdish culture.

The holiday, dating back to at least 1700 B.C. and incorporating ancient Zoroastrian traditions, is the most important event in the Iranian calendar and for Kurds in the region.

It symbolizes the passing of the dark season and the arrival of the season of light.

This year however, Newroz coincides with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Ramadan needs its own shopping budget as households prepare for family gatherings and festive get-togethers with friends.

"This creates some (financial) burden on people, but it's necessary. Even if I don't shop for myself or for my wife, I have to come to the bazaar and shop for the kids," said shopper Dilgesh Ihsan.

Newroz is also celebrated in Turkey and Syria, among other countries.

On March 21, the Kurds head to the mountains and valleys, wearing their colorful costumes to mark the event.

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