Newroz as celebrated by Kurds

Newroz or Nawroz (Kurdish: نەورۆز, Newroz) is the Kurdish celebration of Nowruz; the arrival of spring and new year in Kurdish culture. The lighting of the fires at the beginning of the evening of March 20 is the main symbol of Newroz among the Kurds.

In Zoroastrianism, fire is a symbol of light, goodness and purification. Angra Mainyu, the demonic anti-thesis of Ahura Mazda, was defied by Zoroastrians with a big fire every year, which symbolized their defiance of and hatred for evil and the arch-demon. In Kurdish legend, the holiday celebrates the deliverance of the Kurds from a tyrant, and it is seen as another way of demonstrating support for the Kurdish cause. The celebration coincides with the March equinox which usually falls on 21 March and is usually held between 18 and 24 March. The festival has an important place in terms of Kurdish identity for the majority of Kurds. Though celebrations vary, people generally gather together to welcome the coming of spring; they wear traditional coloured Kurdish clothes, dance together, light fires to dance around and jump over the bonfire, play Kurdish games.