On 16 March a celebration dedicated to Novruz Holiday was held at Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism.

The Executive Director of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism Ravan Hasanov said that Novruz, one of the ancient holidays of the Azerbaijani people, brings people closer. He stated that Novruz Holiday was included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009. And since 2010 by the decision of the UN Assembly General every year 21 March is celebrated as the World Novruz Day.

The holiday celebration attended by the staff members of the Department of Interethnic Relations, Multiculturalism and Religious Issues of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the scholars of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, the leaders of the ethnic and religious communities, the editorial staff of the journal “Multiculturalism”, the representatives of the Creative Foundation was opened by the Head of the Department of Interethnic Relations, Multiculturalism and Religious Issues, Professor Etibar Najafov, who congratulated the visitors  on Novruz Holiday. Etibar Najafov said that Novruz is one of the dear and significant holidays of the Azerbaijani people. Novruz is celebrated together with the representatives of the ethnic and religious communities, the various nationalities living in our country, which has become a tradition for the Azerbaijani people. However, it is impossible to hold such celebrations in other countries. As it is known, ethnic and religious conflicts occur in the Near Eastern countries, North Africa.

The Head of the Department also spoke of the importance of the VI Global Forum held in Baku. He stated that those who spoke in the Forum highly appraised the traditions of multiculturalism of Azerbaijan and the peaceful co-existence of the representatives of various confessions as a single family. Etibar Najafov pointed out that Novruz Holiday reflects the universal values such as peace, solidarity and that it is an example of national identity passed down from generation to generation. He characterized Novruz as one of the significant holidays for mankind and underlined that the traditional organization of this celebration jointly with the ethnic groups and communities at Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism is an example of firm cooperation.

The Director of the Institute of Folklore of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Academician Mukhtar Imanov gave a speech and said that Novruz Holiday is celebrated as an official national holiday by the Instruction of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev. He stated that the philosophy of Novruz is interpreted as equality. This equality unites people.

The Director of the Institute of Linguistics of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, the member of the State Language Commission Academician Mohsun Naghisoylu stated that Novruz is one of the most ancient holidays, which heralds the arrival of spring. Novruz is the holiday of freshness, the awakening of nature, the renewal of our dreams of peace and well-being.

The Chair of Baku Mountain Jews Religious Community Milikh Yevdayev, the representative of the Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church Elnur Afandiyev, the Chair of “the Ronahi” Centre for Kurdish Culture Fakhraddin Pashayev, the representative of the Roman Catholic Church in Azerbaijan Yozef Marek, the Chair of the Azerbaijani-Avar Social Organization Mohammad Nooyev, the leader of the Talysh ommunity, the scholar in Literary Criticism Imamverdi Hamidov, the Head of “Azeri” Centre for the Tat Culture Elman Ahmadov, the representative of “Samur” Lazghi National Centre Imran Rzayev stated in their speeches that Novruz is the holiday of solidarity, fraternity and friendship. In Azerbaijan different nations and the believers in distinct religions coexist jointly under the friendly conditions of fraternity.

The speeches emphasized that Azerbaijan is a bright example of multiculturalism and tolerance for the entire world: “Irrespective of their language, religious, race, ethnic identity all the citizens of Azerbaijan enjoy the rights and freedoms based on the international principles including the freedoms of conscience and religious identity. For all the ethnic minorities as well as for different confessions conditions have been created at high level to maintain their religious-moral values, national customs and traditions, develop and maintain their language and culture”.

It was stated that as a holiday of solidarity, fraternity, friendship Novruz will further unite the Azerbaijani people tightly around our state and our President in our country where different nationalities and distinct religious confessions live in fraternity.