Plantation drive held at CUK's Tulmulla campus
Central University of Kashmir (CUK) students planted saplings at the Tulmulla campus of the varsity

SRINAGAR — Persian New Year Navroz was celebrated with traditional fervour in the Valley on Tuesday. As per practice, the day was marked by plantation activities and holding of special prayers by the Shia community.

Navroz, which literally means a ‘new day’, is the beginning of the New Year of the Persian calendar. It also marks the beginning of farming and plantation in the Kashmir valley.

On Navroz, the duration of day and night is the same. “We hold special prayers and prepare a whole lot of delicacies including ‘Nadur’ (lotus stem) and fish, apart from dried turnip cooked with chicken to commemorate the day,” said a local.

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He said Navroz holds religious significance for the Shias as they believe that Hazrat Ali, Prophet Mohammad’s companion and son-in-law, received ‘Khilafat’ on this day. “Come what may, it rains on Navroz and we see it as a blessing,” he added.

An old tradition in Kashmir is to go for leech therapy on this day as it is regarded as an auspicious day. It was believed in Kashmir that when the leech starts sucking blood from a human being, it takes away all the impurities.

Ancient leech therapy still popular in Kashmir

While Navroz signifies a new beginning and also marks the formal arrival of the spring season in the Valley, farmers consider the day very auspicious. According to local traditions, farmers believe that a seed sown on Navroz blooms into a healthy plant.

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