Nowruz Celebrations in the Ybl Villa

The Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in Budapest welcomed the traditional holiday of spring of the Turkic world in the Ybl Villa and its newly refurbished garden. Almost 100 guests arrived for the Nowruz – besides the representatives of the Turkic diplomatic missions, it was businessmen, teachers, students studying in Hungary, as well as several representatives of scientific life.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador János Hóvári explained that the meaning of the word Nowruz is a new day, the commemoration of the spring equinox, the celebration of the rejuvenation of life in spring. This holiday is an unbreakable bond between the generations and symbolizes the traditions and cultures of the Turkic peoples.

The Executive Head of the OTS pointed out that despite the alternation of various historical ages, the celebration of Nowruz has remained. This holiday did not fit the world of the Ottomans, and during the Soviet times it was banned downright. After the collapse of Communism, when the peoples of the Turkic world were able to maintain relations with one another, and their common linguistic and cultural roots were again revealed, it was self-evident that this is their common holiday that has been preserved by folk traditions. Since the beginning of the 1990s, this holiday has been one of the pillars of the cohesion of the Turkic states. “We also commemorate it by the Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States since one of our jobs is to pool together the Turkic world in Budapest” – emphasized János Hóvári.

During the Nowruz, the rays of the Sun gilded the magnificent façade of the Ybl Villa on the stairs of which the members of the Turkic Youth Ensemble of Budapest – formed by the young students of several nations – sang Hungarian and Turkic folk songs. The authentic Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Azerbaijani musical instruments beautifully harmonized with the sound of the zither and so did the songs written for Nowruz with the Hungarian folk songs.

The customs of Nowruz are known in other places as well. These are e.g. jumping over a fire, painting eggs or electing a Nowruz King. The beginning of the New Year in Persia was originally celebrated at this time. However, Nowruz can be found in the calendar of all peoples along the Silk Road from the Balkans to China – in a variation of the name corresponding to the language of the given country.

In 2016, UNESCO included Nowruz in the World Heritage Lists of mankind, and March 21 was proclaimed as the International Day of Nowruz. If one takes a look from further away, one can see that as a cultural treasure, it belongs not only to a certain geo-cultural region but to the whole of mankind. The beginning of spring in astronomy is also connected to this date, and this is also remembered everywhere in the Northern hemisphere, including the cultural circle of Christianity.

“This day is synonymous with friendship and peace. At the same time, it deepens the cultural and educational cooperation between Hungary and the Turkic students studying on our country,” stressed Ambassador Hóvári.

In the coming weeks, several Embassies in Budapest and organizations and friendship groups throughout the country will observe Nowruz. Each will celebrate it according to its national culture.

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