SHAFAQNA- Aboutaleb Mozaffari, an Afghan poet and writer, referring to the Nowruz rituals in his country, said: “In Afghanistan, for 40 days people are in the atmosphere of Eid and the religious aspect is given to Nowruz and in Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and other cities, Nowruz is tied to expressing devotion to Imam Ali (A.S).
Aboutaleb Mozaffari is an Afghan writer, journalist and poet and the scientific secretary of the Hazara Ethnic Encyclopedia (a specialized publication on the Hazara ethnic group in Afghanistan). He says about the way of holding this ancient ritual in Afghanistan: Nowruz in the countries where this ritual is held as a deep-rooted tradition, has the same meaning with the coming of spring and renewal of the nature and is not confined to one ethnicity and belongs to a civilization called Iranian civilization and Persian language.
He went on to say about the Nowruz holiday in Afghanistan: Usually, most of the holidays in Afghanistan, such as Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr, are three days off, and the Nowruz holiday is three days; But for up to 40 days, people are in the Eid mood. In Afghanistan, Nowruz has been given a religious aspect and people believe that Nowruz is the day when Imam Ali (A.S) was chosen as the successor of the Prophet (PBUH) and they have linked it to the flag of Vilayat (Guardianship) and freedom. In Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and other cities, Nowruz is tied to expressing devotion to Imam Ali (A.S).
He said: “According to historical texts and geographical adaptation, Jamshid, the first Pishdadian dynasty king has risen in present-day Afghanistan and Balkh. Every year in Mazar-e-Sharif, 20 km from old Balkh, a ceremony is held to raise the “flag raising or Janda Bala” which is related to the commemoration of the position of Imam Ali (A.S) and Sunni Muslims believe that a shrine attributed to Imam Ali (A.S) called ” Roza-e-Sakhi “also exists in Afghanistan; Although Shias do not believe so; But it is customary among the public.
In this shrine, on the first day of Nowruz, with the presence of officials such as the President, the Prime Minister, ministers and officials, the Sakhi flag will be raised for 40 days with special splendor and along with prayers and supplications, and then will be furled in a smaller ceremony and kept in a special place. The etymology of the word “Janda” indicates that it means Old cloth.
(Mela-gul-e-sorkh) Red rose festival in Mazar-e-Sharif
Aboutaleb Mozaffari added: “Healing patients at the Red Rose Festival in Mazar-e-Sharif is another tradition of Nowruz in Afghanistan. I have heard from many knowledgeable people that even patients with disabilities are healed in this celebration and before the war in Afghanistan, people came to Mazar-e-Sharif from distant places such as India, Pakistan and the subcontinent and believed in this tradition.”
Emphasizing the need to create a link between the countries where Nowruz is celebrated, the Afghan poet said: “Creating a link between the countries in which Nowruz is celebrated, is one of the necessities and we have to work for this important issue under various pretexts and form circles among poets, in the field of Maqam and Liturgy music, calligraphy and miniature to convey the message of connection between these groups. The formation of the Nowruz Poets Association can also be effective and important in this regard.”
This news is originally published by Iqna Persian and translated by Shafaqna English