Novruz caravan on Baku streets

By: Amina Nazarli

Azerbaijanis’ loveliest holiday Novruz Bayram is around the corner. Today, the country celebrates the Earth or Last Tuesday (Torpag or Akhir Chershenbesi) prior to the main holiday to be held on March 20-21.

The city’s executive power decided to make the last Tuesday more fun for the citizens of the city and has prepared a solemn ceremony with several entertaining programs.

The event which started at 11:00 near the “Icherisheher” subway was remembered with a festive march caravan.

The caravan composed of chaise and musicians was in the national spirit. Attendance of riders in national dress, as well as camels and the main characters of Novruz, including Dede Gorgud, Bahar gizi, Kechal and Kosa attracted the attention of the public.

People in the Azadlig Square, in the park around the Crystal Fountain near the metro station “Koroglu” and in the Samad Vurgun park had the privilege to see the caravan as well.

A theatrical costume show and bonfire kindled will be organized in front of the Central Bank.

In the evening at 19:00 the biggest bonfire in the capital will be kindled near the “Gosha Gala”.

Novruz, which symbolizes the awakening, is one of Azerbaijan’s most cherished holidays. Novruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethnic communities and religious backgrounds for thousands of years. Some 17 countries including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and other scattered populations in Central Asia mark this day as a holiday of the spring equinox.

Novruz celebrations begin a month before the actual holiday. The four Tuesdays named after these elements and called Su Chershenbesi (Water Tuesday), Od Chershenbesi (Fire Tuesday), Hava Chershenbesi (Wind Tuesday) and Torpaq Chershenbesi (Earth or Last Tuesday).

In 2009, Novruz was included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and since then, March 21 was declared the International Day of Novruz.