Iraq and Iran celebrate Nowruz in two different atmospheres
In Iran, the population celebrates Nowruz, the new year of the Persian calendar, in a gloomy and tense economic context after six months of protests that have left between 300 and 500 dead, while in Iraq, we celebrate with family. AFP--
Text by: RFI Follow
In Iran, the population celebrates Nowruz, the new year of the Persian calendar, in a gloomy and tense economic context after six months of protests that have left between 300 and 500 dead, while in Iraq, we celebrate with family.
In Iran, the Nowruz New Year corresponds to the arrival of spring and brings the country to a total standstill for two weeks. Millions of Iranians have taken to the road to the Caspian Sea in the north or in different parts of the country. Tehran is emptying and no longer knows the monster traffic jams that the inhabitants have to face every day. Schools will resume on April 4 and administrations are closed for a week.
►Listen: Iran: for Nowruz, the atmosphere is not really at the party
Iranians celebrate the New Year when inflation exceeds 50% and reaches 70% for everyday consumer products, said Siavosh Ghazi, RFI's correspondent in Tehran. For many, it becomes difficult to buy meat or different products such as pistachios, which have become too expensive for many families.
Moreover, in their messages for the New Year, Iran's Supreme Leader and President Ebrahim Raissi affirmed that controlling inflation and increasing output were the government's two objectives for the coming year. This year's Nowruz festivities coincide with the month of Ramadan, during which it is forbidden to eat or drink in public during the day. But according to religious rules, when you are traveling, you may not respect these obligations.
On the other side of the border, in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, the first two fireworks lit up the sky on New Year's Eve. And the streets are crowded.
The Kurdistan Spring
We've been preparing our outfits and those of our children for a month. All made with our own hands. We prepare the menus. We plan our meals with our loved ones, with our families, in short, we get organized. Tonight, you see, we make a big fire in the city and tomorrow, we take the car and we go picnic, "says a woman, dressed in a traditional outfit, at the microphone of Theo Renaudon, our correspondent in Iraqi Kurdistan. "Each city, each region has its own motive, it represents the spring of Kurdistan," she continues.
There are plenty of street vendors, selling cotton candy, balloons, toys for children. Kurdish flags too, a lot. On this occasion, thousands of Kurds will leave the cities to reach the green mountains of Kurdistan. "This year, Ramadan comes just after Nowruz so we only have a few days to celebrate the New Year. We party, and then after picnics, we go into nature that has just renewed itself after winter, "concludes a man.
► Read also: Nowruz, the Persian spring festival, an anthropological mystery
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