Central Asian festival Nowruz kicks off in Dublin

Festival marks spring equinox on March 21st

It was a riot of colour going beyond the awakenings of spring in St Stephen’s Green today as a local celebration of the Middle Eastern and Central Asian festival called Nowruz kicked off.

Nowruz, meaning “new day” in Persian, is a new year festival marking the spring equinox, which occurs this week on March 21st.

Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn opened the festival today in the company of representatives of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey and Kazakhstan.

At the event opening Mr Quinn said: “Nowruz is a great occasion to celebrate a new year, a new start, but also the many cultures that these communities represent.


“The festival, which has grown in its second year, brings together five different countries and is a great example of successful integration in Dublin that show how much the Middle East and Central Asian community have made Dublin their home.”

The festival, showcasing music, poetry and dance runs until March 26th and is organised by Bahar, the Centre for Intercultural Collaboration. The biggest event, the family day out, takes place at Temple Bar Meeting House Square this Sunday, March 23rd, from noon until 5pm.

Peter Smyth

Peter Smyth is a digital production journalist at The Irish Times