THURSDAY 12TH MARCH, 6-8pm Committee Room 4, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA

Hosted by Roj Women’s Association & Kurdistan National Congress Osman Baydemir (former HDP-Mayor of Diyarbakir)

We invite you to attend a reception to celebrate Newroz, the Kurdish New Year festival. The reception will take place in Committee Room 4, City Hall-Greater London Authority on Thursday 12th March between 6.00pm and 8.00pm and will be hosted by Roj Women’s Association and Kurdish National Congress. Food and drinks will be provided and there will also be an opportunity to enjoy traditional Kurdish music and dance.

Newroz is an ancient annual festival celebrated during the spring equinox on March 21st. The festival symbolises the triumph of light over darkness, the celebration of new life and freedom from oppression. The origins of Newroz date back 5000 years. Due to cultural oppression after the division of Kurdistan, Newroz has not been openly celebrated by the Kurds until very recently.

Throughout Kurdistan, millions of people gather each year to enjoy music, food, dance, and the opportunity to celebrate Kurdish cultural traditions. In London, the traditions of Newroz are kept alive by the large Kurdish community who organise a variety of events across London. Each year, these events provide a wonderful opportunity for Kurdish families and others to come together and celebrate the rich culture and heritage of the Kurds, in the city that has offered many people a refuge from the political and cultural repression they faced in Turkey.

This year, the Newroz events take place in the shadow of the brutal ISIS attacks in Rojava (North Syria) and Shengal (North Iraq).  The people of the region have been defiantly resisting these attacks for many months and despite their historic defence of Kobane, still face a serious threat.

With this background in mind, the Kurdish community sees Newroz as an opportunity to renew the spirit of optimism about the future and we therefore hope that you will be able to join us for the reception which will mark the formal launch of this year’s celebrations.

We would also be grateful if you could inform us whether you are able to attend.

For more information contact:

Aysegul Erdogan 

Melanie Sirinathsingh