(BusinessWeek) | February 24, 2010
By Ali Sheikholeslami

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) — The United Nations General Assembly recognized March 21 as the International Day of Nowruz, a festival of Persian origin that marks the beginning of a new year for more than 300 million people.

Nowruz, meaning new day in the Farsi language, has been celebrated on the vernal equinox for more than 3,000 years in regions including the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucuses, Central Asia and the Middle East, the UN said yesterday in a statement on its Web site.

A proposal for UN recognition of the date was presented to the General Assembly on Dec. 2 by Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.

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