On the occasion of Nowruz, Sanandaj (Iran), a UNESCO Creative City of Music, hosted a dedicated festival to mark the beginning of the Persian New Year. Held also simultaneously by the cities of Tehran, Hamedan and Kermanshah – a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, various events were organized in Sanandaj with the participation of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, involving more than 50 000 citizens, artists, and various stakeholders.
In 2010, the United Nations recognized 21 March as the International Day of Nowruz. Celebrated worldwide by communities of different ethnic and cultural heritages, Nowruz stands as a symbol of cultural diversity and folklore. In Sanandaj, the festivities spread over several days, with both street performances and seated events in Golan Hall, with the presence of national and international guests and representatives. The programme included an art carnival, musical performances, poetry and Kurdish dances, showcasing the diversity of Iranian tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The ceremony ended with the traditional lighting of Nowruz fire by local officials.
To mark the occasion, the Creative City of Sanandaj undertook extensive urban improvement and planning projects, reinforcing cultural and artistic infrastructure throughout the city. The celebration was aimed at fostering social well-being and expanding access to cultural life, especially for the marginalized and vulnerable groups. The international outreach of this Nowruz Festival contributed to the promotion and development of Sanandaj’s musical heritage and industry, honoring the city’s long-established cultural tradition and folklore.