Sunday 17 December 2017

Persians make a song and dance for spring festival

Wafa Nazari (5), originally from Afghanistan and now living in Banchardstown, at the launch of Nowruz
Wafa Nazari (5), originally from Afghanistan and now living in Banchardstown, at the launch of Nowruz
Members of the Bahar Centre celebrate Nowruz, the Persian new year, in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

IT was a riot for the senses as Nowruz – the Middle Eastern festival of spring – was marked in Dublin amid proper sunshine. It is the second year the ancient festival has been observed in the capital.

Nowruz means new year in Persian and is a feast which has been observed for over 10,000 years to mark the spring equinox, which occurs tomorrow.

The festival in Dublin is organised by Bahar, the centre for Intercultural Collaboration in conjunction with the Dublin City Council Office for Integration.

The festival was officially launched yesterday by Dublin Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn, alongside representatives from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey and Kazakhstan.

"Nowruz is a great occasion to celebrate a new year, a new start – but also the many cultures that these communities represent," said the Lord Mayor, who added that it was a great example of successful integration in Dublin.


The festival showcases music, poetry and dance and runs until March 26. A family day out is due to take place at Temple Bar Meeting House Square on Sunday, March 23 from noon until 5pm.

Our main photograph shows Mina Ilhan, from Turkey, living in Blackrock; Fanoos Kiani, from Iran, living in Ringsend; Sheelan Yousefizadeh, from Iran, living in Beaumont; Aylin Karimaghaei, from Iran, living in Drogheda, Co Louth; Merve Ilhan, from Turkey, living in Blackrock; Gita Hashimi and her brother Siyawash from Afghanistan, living in Fairview.

Irish Independent

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