The first Newroz fire of this year has been lit in the Kayapınar district of Diyarbakır (Amed). The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) provincial co-chair Zeyyat Ceylan called people to the 21 March celebration, saying, “Newroz is the mother tongue, it is culture, it is the day of struggle, it is a day for the Kurds to claim their existence.”
This year, the first Newroz fire in the city was lit before the great Newroz feast of 21 March, to be held in the Newroz celebration area, with the slogan “Dem dema serkeftinê ye” (Now is the time for victory).
The HDP MP for Diyarbakır Remziye Tosun, provincial co-chairs Zeyyat Ceylan and Gülistan Atasoy and party members took part in the celebration held under snowfall in the garden of the HDP Branch office.
Speaking beforehand, Zeyyat Ceylan stated that the HDP, the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the Free Women’s Movement (TJA) and co-chairs of political parties within the Kurdistan Alliance Work Group had started this year’s Newroz celebrations after a declaration on 10 March.
“We celebrate Newroz of 2022 with the goals of ending the isolation imposed on Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) Leader Abdullah Öcalan, freedom for sick prisoners, the release of prisoners still detained after completion of their sentences, the recognition of the right to speak in the mother tongue, and intensification of the struggle for freedom and democracy. Millions willl join the celebrations,” Ceylan said.
He stated that they had set up five commissions who been preparing for Newroz in Diyarbakır for over a month, and that they aim to get millions to celebrate this year’s Newroz in national dress.
“We are already inviting all our people to the Newroz area that day. Let us all stand up for Newroz together, because Newroz is the mother tongue, Newroz is culture, it is a day of struggle and a day to stand up for the existence of the Kurds and their friends. We invite everyone to take their places in the Newroz areas and celebrate Newroz.”
Newroz is celebrated in Kurdistan and throughout the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Traditions for the spring equinox celebrations vary, and the diverse peoples who celebrate the holiday imbue it with diverse meanings.
For Kurds, Newroz, on 21 March, is the day that the fire of resistance is rekindled. According to legend, Kawa the Blacksmith killed the tyrant king Dehak on this day. The story has been central in Kurdish rebellions throughout history. In the 20th century, Kurds have turned the day into a day of resistance and revival as a people. As the saying goes, “Kurds have become Newroz, and Newroz has become the people”.