GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) joined others around the world in celebrating the spring festival of Navroze on Friday.
A Persian tradition that dates back 3,000 years, Navroze also ushers in the New Year for many and people commemorate this day by sowing plants and engaging in various community activities such as sports, dancing and feasting.
To mark the end of the region’s long winter, some families shaved the heads of their newborns. “This is a renewal and appreciation of age-old values of love, harmony and brotherhood,” said Shakeel Khan, a resident of Ghizer Valley.
In Baltistan, a traditional polo match was held between two teams at Skardu’s grounds where food stalls were also set up for spectators.
Men in small groups raced eggs down a slope as part of a competition. The participant whose egg remained intact at the end won the race. Others smashed eggs against each other to see who came out victorious with an unbroken egg.
“Navroze’s message is respect, peace and love for all,” said Wazir Hassan, a resident of Skardu.
In Hunza, newborn babies were dressed up and carefully rolled over piles of dry fruits and sweets which were then distributed among friends and family signifying good luck and blessing.
Named after the Persian ruler, Jamshed-e-Navroze symbolises rejuvenation and revitalisation. Various communities and cultures across the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia celebrate the festival with great fervour.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2014.