Nowruz 2021: B.C. Premier John Horgan issues statement for Persian New Year

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      B.C. Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement for Nowruz, also known as Persian or Iranian New Year:

      "Today, people around the world and here in British Columbia are celebrating Nowruz, the new year in the Persian calendar, as well as the first day of spring. For thousands of years, Nowruz has been a time to embrace new beginnings by closing old chapters, and to be optimistic for what the future has in store.

      "It's fitting that we will be marking Nowruz at the same time we are also seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with COVID-19. Over the last year, the pandemic has turned our lives upside down and challenged us in ways we could never have imagined. But better days are ahead with the arrival of safe and effective vaccines.

      "On Nowruz, families traditionally gather to feast, read poems of Hafez-e Shirazi, to set the Haft-Seen table in their homes, and to jump over bonfires to burn away bad luck and replace it with warmth and good health. While Nowruz gatherings will look different again this year, the celebration of hope and renewal is as timely and important as ever.

      "I'm optimistic that next year, we will once again be able to celebrate the way we are used to—whether that's with extended family, or at community gatherings like the Nowruz festival at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver. For now, I urge everyone to follow current public health guidelines and welcome the new year only with those in your immediate household.

      "On behalf of all British Columbians, I wish families around our province a happy and healthy year ahead. I join with you in celebrating the first day of spring and the hope for a brighter future it brings.

      "Norouzetan Pirouz."