Dushanbe Mayor Rustam Emomali has invited mayors of 17 sister cities of Tajik capital for celebration of Navrouz in Dushanbe, according to the Dushanbe Administration.  

At the end of the last week, Rustam Emomali reportedly sent invitation for participation in celebration of Navrouz festival in Dushanbe to the mayor of Lusaka (Zambia), Sana’a (Yemen), Monastir (Tunisia), Lahore (Pakistan), Klagenfurt (Austria), Boulder (Colorado, United States), Reutlingen (Germany), Mazar-i Sharif (Afghanistan), Tehran (Iran), Shiraz (Iran), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Minsk (Belarus), Urumqi (China), Ankara (Turkey), Xiamen (China), Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) and Qindao (China).  

Rustam Emomali has also sent invitations to mayors of Moscow and Tashkent, an official source at the Dushanbe Administration told Asia-Plus in an interview.  

Recall, a festive carnival dedicated to Navrouz will be held in the Tajik capital on March 21.  Besides, festive concerts will take place in all Dushanbe’s districts on the same day.  

Theatrical show, dubbed Ganji Navrouz, will be held at the Navrouzgoh Complex in the evening of March 22.  The theatrical show will end with fireworks.

Gushtingiri (traditional Tajik wrestling) contests and horse races will take place at the Navrouzgoh Complex on March 23 and 24.    

Navrouz, which literary means New Day in Persian, Dari and Tajik languages, is the traditional Iranian new year holiday, celebrated by Iranian and many other peoples.  It marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (the start of spring in the northern hemisphere), which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed.  Today, the festival of Navrouz is celebrated in many countries, including Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, as well as Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.  Many peoples in West and South Asia, Northeast China, the Crimea, as well as Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia also celebrate this holiday.

In September 2009, the UN's cultural agency, UNESCO, included Navrouz in its list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  On February 23, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the International Day of Navrouz.