Navruz celebrations at the Embassy of Uzbekistan

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Uzbek Embassy’s annual Navruz reception, featuring traditional Uzbek food, music, and performances. Navruz is a celebration of the arrival of spring, a time of renewal and rebirth, and I was honoured to share this special occasion with His Excellency Said Rustamov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United Kingdom and his brilliant Embassy team, as well as many BEI members and our friends from other diplomatic posts and FCDO.

Navruz is an ancient festival, with roots going back at least 3,000 years, which is still celebrated by over 300 million people each year across Central Asia. The word ‘Navruz’ means new day; its spelling and pronunciation varies by country (some alternative spellings are Nauryz/Novruz/Nowruz). 

It is traditionally celebrated on 21st March, marking the first day of spring, on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox. Festivities take place over two weeks around the equinox, promoting values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness - a sentiment that is perhaps more relevant than ever in the current climate. 

The rituals and traditions of Navruz reflect the ancient customs of the civilizations of the East and West, with the affirmation of life in harmony with nature, awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and a solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.

On behalf of British Expertise International, wishing all our friends and networks in Central Asia a very Happy Navruz! May the new year bring hope, peace and prosperity.


Alexandra Barnes

Director, Infrastructure and Climate Resilience

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