President Emomali Rahmon will attend the Navrouz celebrations in the northern city of Khujand nevertheless.  Chiefs of all diplomatic missions active in Tajikistan have been invited to attend the Navrouz celebrations in Khujand.  

“President Emomali Rahmon will attend the Navrouz celebrations that will take place at the Central Stadium in Khujand on March 22,” a source within the Tajik government told Asia-Plus in an interview.

About 12,000 people, mainly students of local schools and universities will participate in a theatrical show that will be held at the Khujand stadium, where a stage of 100 m² was built.   

Recall, a source within the republican commission for prevention of coronavirus told Asia-Plus on March 4 that public festivities and entertainments to celebrate Navrouz festival most likely will be canceled in Tajikistan this year amid coronavirus fears. 

According to him, a small number of guests and artistes will be invited to participate in events to celebrate the Navrouz festival at the government level.  

Public festivities in parks and sports events will also be canceled, the source added.  

There have been no confirmed cases of the illness in Tajikistan so far.

Navrouz, which literary means New Day in Persian, Dari and Tajik languages, is the traditional Iranian new year holiday, celebrated by Iranian and many other peoples.  It marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (the start of spring in the northern hemisphere), which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed.  Today, the festival of Navrouz is celebrated in many countries, including Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, as well as Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.  Many peoples in West and South Asia, Northeast China, the Crimea, as well as Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia also celebrate this holiday.

In September 2009, the UN's cultural agency, UNESCO, included Navrouz in its list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  On February 23, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the International Day of Navrouz.