On these festive spring days warmth of son cherishes high peaks of mountains and crystal clear water fills numerous raging rivers and streams giving a new life to beautiful nature.
Spring comes to each corner of the country, everything becomes covered by greens. Clean mountain air, warmth and freshness, and unimaginably tasty food open a new world of feelings which one can’t find in megalopolises and city bustle.
Nowruz in Tajikistan is widely celebrated both in cities and villages. During my stay I succeeded to attend the festival of Nowruz both in the capital – the city of Dushanbe, and outside the capital – in the countryside, and to see with my own eyes the beauty and grandeur of the festival.
The Government of Tajikistan has made significant arrangements for organizing the festival. Among many guests, who arrived in Tajikistan from different countries at the invitation of the Government, I met many friends of mine. The ancient festival of Nowruz joined all of us together on these days.
Major events in Dushanbe were held in the main festival venue – the "Nowruzgoh" complex. Built a few years ago in the urban racetrack the “Nowruzgoh” includes a beautiful park, gardens with rare ornamental trees and flowers, an artificial waterfall and fountains, restaurants and summer pavilions in the style of ancient Persian architecture for the guests’ relaxation.
During Nowruz festival many residents of the capital dressed up in beautiful native costumes visited "Nowruzgoh" and witnessed the solemn festive program.
The President of Tajikistan Mr.Emomali Rahmon who is the Leader of nation and founder of peace and unity of Tajikistan opened the program making a formal speech. He congratulated the audience with the onset of the festival. It was stressed that Nowruz, consisting of such humanistic qualities as goodness, forgiveness, love and creation turned into an international festival, which is celebrated in many countries around the world.
Bright performances of dance groups and ensembles, sport events of national wrestling and horse racing followed up the solemn celebration program. Until late at night there were live performances, songs were heard in the festively decorated Dushanbe, the people were happy and had fun.
Nowruz is widely celebrated throughout Tajikistan. I happened to attend the festival in the town of Hissar in the west of the country. Hissar is known for its unique history; last year the city celebrated its 3000th anniversary. The Hissar fortress gates, the main archaeological value of the city, look like they were a few centuries ago. The citadel was renovated. Dear guests were welcomed by artisans, artists, tightrope walkers and cookery specialists; there were large cooking pots everywhere where the food was prepared and everyone was treated to hot fiat cakes (a kind of national bread) and entertained with all kinds of delicacies.
But the main pearl of the festival, like many centuries ago, remains sincere genuine hospitality and generosity of the people of Tajikistan. Wherever I went I always felt the human touch and care of ordinary people. Nowruz in Tajikistan is truly a national festival, being the embodiment of common cultural and historical heritage, unity and friendship of all the Tajiks of the world.
Story by Dr. Abdul Lalzad, professor, London South Bank University