TEHRAN, Mar. 28 (MNA) – Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak-Ayin, while describing the traditions held in Azerbaijan during Nowruz, said the customs of Nowruz on both sides of Aras River are very close together.

In an interview with Mehr News, Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak- Ayin said celebrating New Year in Azerbaijan has been inspired by the customs, traditions and the past histories which has a lot in common with Persian art and culture.

Here is the text of interview with Mohsen Pak-Ayin:

1. Would you please explain more about Nowruz tradition in Azerbaijan and describe the major differences it has with Nowruz in Iran?

Celebrating New Year in Azerbaijan has been inspired by the customs, traditions and the past histories which has a lot in common with Persian art and culture. To celebrate the New Year, people dress in their new clothes and start the 10-day holiday by paying house visits to one another, especially the elders of their families, in the form of short house visits, which are usually reciprocated. Nowruz is an official holiday lasting for 9 days.

 Many families in Azerbaijan welcome Nowruz on New Year's Eve with cooking traditional dishes and starting visiting families at the first day of spring.

The people of Azerbaijan celebrate spring and the New Year a few days prior to Nowruz with buying new clothing, sweets, traditional spring cleaning, growing wheatgrass and colored eggs.

On the first days of the New Year, in different parts of Azerbaijan’s capital city Baku including Ichari Shahar, Nowruz traditions are held in the presence of the President and government officials.

In total, the customs and traditions of Nowruz on both sides of Aras River are very close together.
Celebration on New Year's Eve, visiting and respect for elders, honoring youth and children and giving Eidi to them, cleaning the house and wearing new clothes, fire jumping festival (Chaharshanbe Suri) which is held every four Tuesday nights of Esfand, the last month of winter in Iran, are among Nowruz traditions held in Azerbaijan.  


2. Does Iranian embassy have special programs to celebrate the New Year in Nowruz? Given that Azerbaijan has the same traditions on the celebration of New Year, does Iranian embassy has any plans for knowing both countries’ Nowruz cultures?

Yes, every year during the New Year Iranians gather in the place of Iran’s embassy at the invitation of Iranian cultural attaché in Baku and hold Nowruz celebrations collectively.


3. Is there any coordination among Iran’s embassies in different countries where they celebrate Nowruz, to hold special events or ceremonies?

All Iran’s embassies usually perform collective ceremonies in New Year.


4. Will you travel to Tehran or stay in Azerbaijan in Nowruz?

This year, God willing, I will spend Nowruz in Azerbaijan and my family will come to Baku to celebrate Nowruz with each other.


5. If you spend Nowruz in Azerbaijan, what are your plans during the New Year? Will you celebrate the New Year with the Azeri officials, paying house visits to one another? Please elaborate more on your visits during Nowruz?

Yes, I will attend an official ceremony held by the Azeri officials, usually in park on Caspian border and Ichari shahar city. A spring fair will be held in the city in which Iran has a pavilion. The ambassadors participating in the event from different countries will deliver speeches and Iranian diplomats will send congratulation messages and other gifts including pistachio and sweets to the officials at the embassy.

I will personally congratulate the New Year to the people of Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, I will take a vacation with my family to the cities around Baku, including Shamakhi or Qibla.


6. What was the most important thing that the Iranian embassy in Azerbaijan did this year? What is your overall assessment of the developing process of bilateral relations between Iran and Azerbaijan over the past year?

1993 was a very busy year for the two countries. Many Azerbaijani and Iranian delegations exchanged visits; Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev visited Iran and Iranian President Dr. Hassan Rouhani also went to Baku. Over 20 delegations at ministerial and upper levels visited both countries; more than 15 MoUs were signed between the countries. These are all among the most important events happened in 1393 and which had a key and influential role in the development of bilateral relations between the two countries.


7. What is the most important plan in your upcoming agenda with respect to bilateral ties between Iran and Azerbaijan?

Due to the improvement of bilateral ties, I am optimistic that 1394 will be a good year for both countries with respect to the future of relations between the two countries.

Efforts will be done to implement the provisions of MoUs signed during the previous years, especially in the economic field, in 1394.


8. Do the two sides have any plans for visiting their neighboring countries on their agenda for the next year?

Yes, several trips are planned including the visit of Iran’s Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Ali Rabiee in April.


9. Is there anything you can add to your comments?

I hope we would see more efforts to develop the legal regime of the Caspian Sea in 1394. The final agreement will be gradually achieved in the process of 20-year negotiation for the legal regime of the Caspian Sea due to the improvement of mutual trust among the littoral countries of the Caspian Sea.

I heartily congratulate you on this New Year, and hope that it brings you and your family much health, happiness and success.





News Code 106405

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