Included in 2016 in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
The New Year is often a time when people wish for prosperity and new beginnings. March 21 marks the start of the year in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It is called Nauryz, Navruz, Nawrouz, Nevruz, Nooruz, Novruz, Nowrouz or Nowruz which means "new day" when a variety of rituals, ceremonies and other cultural events take place over a period of approximately two weeks. An important tradition practiced in this period is to unite around the "Table", decorated with objects that symbolize purity, brightness, sustenance and wealth, to enjoy a special meal with loved ones. New clothes are worn and visits are made to relatives, particularly the elderly and neighbors. Gifts are exchanged, especially for children, with objects made by artisans. There are also street performances of music and dance. These practices manifest Iranian cultural diversity, richness and tolerance and contribute to building community solidarity and peace. They are passed on from older generations to younger ones through observation and participation.