INDIANAPOLIS — For the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of spring is approaching. For some countries in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s also the beginning of the new year.
Nowruz, also known as the Persian New Year, marks the first day of the spring equinox. This is when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length.
It also marks the first day of the year for those who follow the solar calendar.
The holiday is celebrated by Iran, Afghanistan, the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey and Syria and throughout Central Asia.
“It’s the first day of the new year and first day of the spring season. This is a big celebration in the Afghan community,” Najia Sherzad Hoshmand said.
Hoshmand is the coordinator of the first annual Nowruz Festival. It was held Sunday afternoon at the Global Village Welcome Center.
The celebration was filled with traditional flowers, bright spring colors and traditional Afghan food. There were speakers and activities for kids.
“We’ve had a very hard journey making it out of Afghanistan, risking our lives. Many of the families you see here had to leave and flee the country,” Hoshmand said.
The festival also marked the launch of Afghan American Community Center, an organization that will provide information and bring support to the Afghan community residing in Indiana.
“Our community is increasing day by day, more families are coming and resettling here. As new neighbors, we hope that our American friends acknowledge us,” Hoshmand said. “The most important thing that we need is support, care and love.”
The Afghan Community Center accepts monetary donations or household items for new refugees.
To learn more about the organization, click here.
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