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Happy Norouz! Welcoming The Persian New Year

Norouz, the traditional Persian new year's celebration, heralds the arrival of spring throughout Central Asia, the Caucasus, and parts of the Middle East.

Iraqi Kurds mark Norouz with a torch-lit procession up a mountain above the town of Aqrah, some 100 kilometers east of Mosul.
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Iraqi Kurds mark Norouz with a torch-lit procession up a mountain above the town of Aqrah, some 100 kilometers east of Mosul.

The torch-lit procession snakes up the mountainside.
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The torch-lit procession snakes up the mountainside.

Kyrgyz women wearing traditional costumes for Norouz celebrations in Bishkek on March 21.
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Kyrgyz women wearing traditional costumes for Norouz celebrations in Bishkek on March 21.

An Afghan girl looks out a window at Norouz festivities happening in the courtyard of the Hazrat-e-Ali Shrine in Mazar-e Sharif.
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An Afghan girl looks out a window at Norouz festivities happening in the courtyard of the Hazrat-e-Ali Shrine in Mazar-e Sharif.

A Kurdish woman dances around a bonfire in the Turkish town of Diyarbakir on March 21.
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A Kurdish woman dances around a bonfire in the Turkish town of Diyarbakir on March 21.

A column of cotton candy offers a flash of color to the landscape of Kabul, Afghanistan, during Norouz festivities on March 21.
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A column of cotton candy offers a flash of color to the landscape of Kabul, Afghanistan, during Norouz festivities on March 21.

Young Azerbaijani musicians take part in Norouz celebrations in central Tbilisi on March 21.
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Young Azerbaijani musicians take part in Norouz celebrations in central Tbilisi on March 21.

Locals gather around a bonfire as the torch procession winds up a hill above Aqrah, in northern Iraq, on March 20.
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Locals gather around a bonfire as the torch procession winds up a hill above Aqrah, in northern Iraq, on March 20.

Kurdish women dance during Norouz celebrations in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, on March 21.
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Kurdish women dance during Norouz celebrations in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, on March 21.

Crowds around a bonfire during the celebrations in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on March 21. 
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Crowds around a bonfire during the celebrations in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on March 21. 

Goldfish for sale on a Tehran street on March 17. The fish are a frequent feature of Norouz holiday displays known as "haftsin."
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Goldfish for sale on a Tehran street on March 17. The fish are a frequent feature of Norouz holiday displays known as "haftsin."

Children wearing traditional costumes for Norouz celebrations in Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, on March 21. 
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Children wearing traditional costumes for Norouz celebrations in Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, on March 21. 

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