Nowruz in Tamgaly: Celebration for the Ages

21 March 2014

Today is the International Day for Nowruz, an occasion celebrated by millions of people from Western, Central and South Asia, the Balkans and other parts of the world.

It is a celebration of family, nature and renewal that dates back generations – a glimpse of just how far back is provided by some of the outstanding archaeological finds in the Asia.

Let us walk forward together, guided by the spirit of friendship, respect and mutual understanding. This is the strongest foundation on which to address global challenges, drawing on solidarity and understanding between all peoples.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova

In Tamgaly, Kazakhstan, for example, engravings that reference Nowruz dating back to the Bronze Age were found. This year the UNESCO cluster office in Almaty and the Reserve-Museum Tamgaly of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Kazakhstan will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the inscription of this art on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Solar deities, zoomorphic beings dressed in furs, syncretic subjects, people in disguises and a wide range of animals are among the engravings at the historic site.

The property bears evidence of rituals related to Nowruz. The engraved images of the sun-headed figures, altars, and enclosed cult areas, provide a unique assembly, which has maintained sacred associations from the Bronze Age to the present day.

Nowruz, inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, has carried its message of respect, mutual understanding and peace among peoples down through the generations.

The message of harmony with nature reflected in the Bronze Age engravings is one that remains poignant in the modern day. So too does the spirit of good fellowship the occasion elicits.

As UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in her address for the day: “Let us walk forward together, guided by the spirit of friendship, respect and mutual understanding. This is the strongest foundation on which to address global challenges, drawing on solidarity and understanding between all peoples.”

Happy Nowruz to all!

UNESCO Director-General’s International Day of Nowruz message

Related link

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