“Many people of different faiths in Alberta and across the world celebrate Nowruz, the ancient new year’s tradition of the Persian and Farsi cultures. It is celebrated on the day of the spring equinox, which falls between March 19 and 21.

“A Nowruz tradition among many cultures is the haft-sen table, which features a mirror, food and fresh florals. Each of these items symbolizes spring and new beginnings.

This Nowruz will be a difficult one for many members of Alberta’s Persian community who lost friends and loved ones aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on Jan. 8. I pray for the consolation of all of those who will mourn the absence of their friends and family members around the haft-sen table this year.

“This is a precious time to spend time together as a family and reconnect to their culture and heritage, however while doing so it is important to stay informed about the best practices in dealing with the spread of COVID-19. That includes proper handwashing, and ensuring that you self-isolate if you are unwell. More information can be found at alberta.ca/COVID19. I urge all Albertans to wish everyone who celebrates Nowruz a very happy and prosperous new year.”

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