The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent a message on the International Day of Nowruz , expressing hope that people would use the occasion to reflect on the power of culture to promote peace.
“On this International Day of Nowruz, I offer my best wishes to those who celebrate, and express hope that all people can use the occasion to reflect on the beauty of nature, the promise of spring and the power of culture to build peace,” Ban said in his Tuesday message. Originating in Iran’s ancient history , Nowruz is celebrated by more than 300 million people worldwide on March 21, the day of the spring Equinox, which marks the sun’s crossing of the Equator and the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The UN chief hailed inscribing Nowruz in the UNESCO  Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, saying the “joint effort of Azerbaijan, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan itself proves the value of unity in diversity.” Ban defined Nowruz as a special time of the year that brings different people from across a richly diverse region together for “celebration of the larger forces that unite us.” Nowruz is as one of the oldest and most cherished festivities celebrated for at least 3,000 years. The International Day of Nowruz was registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on February 23, 2010, and the festivities are now celebrated in many countries as far as the US and Canada.