Navruz is a celebration of a common past and a common future
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- On 23 February 2010, the General Assembly recognized 21 March as the International Day of Navruz.
A draft resolution entitled "International Day of Navruz" was submitted for consideration by the General Assembly at its 64th session by Azerbaijan, Albania, Afghanistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, India, Iran, Turkey and the Central Asian countries.
Since Navruz promotes cultural diversity and friendship between peoples and different communities, its celebration is in line with UNESCO’s mandate.
In particular, in accordance with the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Navruz was included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
A number of specialists believe that the genesis of Navruz dates back to the period of the productive economy and to the process of resettlement of the Aryan-Indo-Iranian tribes from the northern latitudes of Europe to the borders of Western and Central Asia. Many aspects of this festival bear similarities to the traditional Chinese Spring Festival.
From a scientific and historical point of view, the Tajik scientist Akbar Turson (Tursunov) connects the sociogenetics of Navruz with the Neolithic revolution that took place at the turn of the 10th-6th millennium BC, when in the history of Homo sapiens there was a stage-by-stage transition from the appropriating type of economy (gathering, fishing and hunting on animals) to the producing type (agriculture and settled pastoralism)
The Uzbek scientist from the National University of Uzbekistan Shavkat Miralimov cites a number of sources about the antiquity of Navruz. In his opinion, the most complete information and clear scientific conclusions are given in the works of Abu Rayhan Beruni, Omar Khayyam. Later, the celebration of Navruz is also mentioned in Alisher Navoi’s poem "Saddi Iskandari" ("Iskander’s Shaft").
In the work of Beruni "Monuments of ancient peoples" it is said: “The reason for the name of this day Navruz is that when Jamshid (one of the ancient kings of Iran) became king, he introduced a new religion and called the day when this happened Navruz” - “ New day."
In his work "Navruzname" Omar Khayyam also indicates that the legends about the celebration of Navruz arose during the reign of King Jamshid. He writes: “Jamshid issued a farman so that this day call Navruz and ordered people to celebrate this day every year and call it the beginning of the New Year.
Why Navruz is celebrated on 21 March? Because the 21st is the day of the spring equinox, the time of the awakening of nature, the revival of all living creatures, the plant world on Earth. Therefore, the peoples of Central Asia and the East considered 21 March the beginning of the New Year.
According to the researcher I.S. Braginsky, Navruz is a holiday of the awakening of spring, the beginning of a new agricultural year, i.e. marks the awakening, the flowering of spring.
Omar Khayyam in the treatise "Navruzname” notes: "As for the reason for the establishment of Nauruz, it consists in the fact that, as you know, the Sun has two revolutions, one of which is such that every three hundred and sixty-five days and a quarter of a day it returns to the first minutes of the constellation Aries at the same time of day that it came out, and every year this period decreases. When Jamshid realized this day, he called it Navruz and introduced a holiday into the custom.
From all this it can be seen that the celebration of Navruz as the first day of the New Year is based on the laws of nature, the laws of the world.
Navruz is a holiday of kindness, unity and harmony with nature. One of the obligatory conditions of the holiday is the forgiveness of insults, debts and reconciliation with each other.
After the conquest of Central Asia by the Arabs and the spread of Islam in the region, Navruz was preserved to a certain extent. Tajik researcher Jorabek Isomitdinov, relying on written sources, gives examples of how the Abbasid caliphs, on the days of Navruz, arranged large court receptions, gave valuable gifts, including all kinds of figurines and products made of ambergris, for example, red roses. “At the court of the Abbasids, the celebration of Navruz, with minor changes, was carried out in the old way, i.e. fireworks were arranged, they poured water on each other, organized evenings of dances and songs; people walked until morning. On the holiday of Navruz, the best qasidas were read, which were composed by poets; these qasidas were accompanied by music and songs, for which the poets received gifts from the rulers.”
Navruz was practiced during the reign of the Turkic dynasties of the Karakhanids, Seljukids, Timurids, Sheibanids, as part of the Muslim religion. This is evidenced by the written facts of respect for the traditions of Navruz.
Rudaki, Firdowsi, Nizami Ganjavi, Jami, Navoi, Babur and others.
Part of the Muslim clergy tried to ban this holiday, and then introduce religious elements into its celebration. But the non-religious nature of the Navruz holiday was preserved by the masses.
According to the Kazakh scientist, archaeologist A.A. Nurjanova Navruz in the life of the peoples of Central Asia is still of great importance. For the peoples of the Central Asian region, Navruz is a starting point for a person’s age, a “universal birthday”. Since ancient times, Navruz has been celebrated as a universal holiday, and with the strengthening of statehood, it is a family holiday that connects each person with his relatives, with living and dead ancestors. On this holiday, seven dishes were put on the dastarkhan, the names of which should begin with the letter “Sh” (Arabic shin), and the festive dish was called “seven tires”: sharap - grape syrup, shir - milk, shirin - mulberry juice jam, shikyar - sugar, sherbet - fruit drinks, sham - incense candle, shona - comb. These components of the table decoration symbolized various natural phenomena: sharap - awakening, sham - beauty.
In Uzbekistan Navruz is widely celebrated in all cities and regions of the country. According to tradition, during the celebration of Navruz, people visit relatives and friends, congratulate each other. Since the independence of the Central Asian republics following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Navruz has been recognized throughout the region as a national public holiday lasting several days in some countries. Each country and region in Central Asia has its own traditional variations of Navruz celebrations, but this festival is generally recognized as the most colorful showcase of traditional culture in the region.
At the same time, it should be noted that Navruz, as a national holiday, initially has a non-Islamic character. In principle, it is a secular holiday, as Beruni wrote, "inherited from the fathers."
In Central Asia, the Navruz holiday was originally characterized by a number of characteristic cultural and historical features, it is the personification of the living cultural tradition of the peoples of the region, the universality of the holiday and the absence of contradictions with the cultural and spiritual life of other peoples. But the main feature, in the opinion of the author, is that Navruz is not only a factor strengthening national identity, but also our common regional identity.
The uniqueness of Central Asia in its single historical and cultural space, which had a tremendous impact on the development of world civilization.
The German researcher M. Kaiser notes that Central Asia is a region where many groups with different identities have coexisted since antiquity. Eurasia has always been characterized by high population mobility, and in Central Asia Islam and Turan are “elements of Eurasian integration that crosses the borders of states. They are used in the name of creating both national and transnational conceptions of identity.”
According to foreign experts, factors such as historical, geographic, cultural, religious interconnectedness, common challenges and threats that form regional identity predetermined the inevitability and priority of regional cooperation in Central Asia.
And one of the main factors contributing to regional cooperation is the common historical and cultural heritage of the peoples of the region.
In this regard, the celebration of Navruz reminds us that our common heritage is not only monuments, objects and landscapes, but also customs, beliefs, skills and traditions - all that intangible heritage, which, relying only on memory and the transfer of experience from generations, is very valuable wealth of our peoples.
head of the IICA department,
Candidate of Historical Sciences