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Norouz Celebrations Welcome Spring Across The Region

As spring begins, so does the Persian New Year. The festival of Norouz, celebrated on March 20 and 21, coincides with the spring equinox. Throughout Central Asia, the Caucasus, and parts of the Middle East, people are planning family celebrations with food and music, and markets are bustling with shoppers preparing for the holiday.


Tents are set up for the holiday of Amal Mayram, celebrated a few days before Norouz, in Kazakhstan's Mangystau region. 
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Tents are set up for the holiday of Amal Mayram, celebrated a few days before Norouz, in Kazakhstan's Mangystau region. 

Kazakhs in Mangystau share a festive meal for Amal Mayram. 
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Kazakhs in Mangystau share a festive meal for Amal Mayram. 

Food preparation in Mangystau
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Food preparation in Mangystau

Pre-Norouz shopping at Shohmansur market in Dushanbe, Tajikistan
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Pre-Norouz shopping at Shohmansur market in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Shohmansur market
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Shohmansur market

A fish seller at a market in the Afghan capital, Kabul
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A fish seller at a market in the Afghan capital, Kabul

A stew at a market in Kabul
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A stew at a market in Kabul

Sweets on sale in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent
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Sweets on sale in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent

Fruit, eggs, spices, and sweets make up a Norouz display in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
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Fruit, eggs, spices, and sweets make up a Norouz display in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Goldfish, part of many Norouz displays, swim at a market in Tehran.
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Goldfish, part of many Norouz displays, swim at a market in Tehran.

Norouz decorations on sale in Tehran
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Norouz decorations on sale in Tehran

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