Navruz / by Žiga Lovšin

Navruz, also known as the Persian New Year, is celebrated in Central and Western Asia, the Caucasus, Black Sea Basin and the Balkans. It takes place on the first day of spring, which is the beginning of the Iranian calendar. As in so many other countries, it is a national holiday in Uzbekistan. My first wish was to go to the countryside to observe a game of kupkari, a match between two teams of horse riders fighting for a headless goat carcass. But I changed my plans at the last moment and stayed in Samarkand, where I observed various traditions, dancing, music, short musicals, martial arts and parades.