Newroz, marking both the arrival of the new year on spring equinox, and the day of uprising for freedom, was celebrated in many parts of Iraqi Kurdistan, and North and East Syria over the weekend.
There were vibrant celebrations in the districts of the Yazidi homeland Sinjar (Shengal) in Iraqi Kurdistan on Sunday. The celebrations in the Borık and Sinune districts attracted large crowds.
In the Makhmour refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, thousands of people gathered for the celebration as the great Newroz fire was lit. The celebration area was decorated with flags of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). A moment of silence was observed by the attendants in respect to all who fell in the struggle for freedom.
The celebrations continued with traditional dances around the Newroz fire as the crowd chanted, ‘Biji Serok Apo’ (‘Long live Apo’), calling for the freedom of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and chanting ‘Şehit Namirin’ (‘Martyrs don’t die’).
Newroz was also celebrated all across North and East Syria (Rojava).
Celebrations took place in 16 different settlements in areas under the governance of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), including Qamishlo, Derik, Raqqa, Manbij and Kobane.
Thousands of people attended the celebrations, reflecting the spirit of Newroz with colourful traditional dress, and carrying banners, flags and photos of Abdullah Öcalan.