In Azerbaijan and some surrounding countries, the first day of spring heralds a ten day new year’s celebration, celebrating one of the oldest festivals in the world, Novruz. Literally “new day”, this ancient tradition marks the end of winter and the joy of new life. Prizewinning Baku-based art photographer Kerim Abbasov talks us through some of his works reflecting Novruz
“With the onset of evening, bonfires break out in the streets. Family members join hands, dance around the fire, and then jump over the fire. There are beliefs that the cleansing flame of bonfires devours evil and all ailments. According to tradition, everyone should, if possible, celebrate the holiday at home, among their family members.
Every year, on the eve of the holiday, four Tuesdays of winter (ilakhir chershenbe) are celebrated, symbolizing the four elements: water (su), fire (od), wind (yel) and earth (torpag). The celebration starts on Tuesday evening.
All photography by Kerim Abbasov