Kambiz Mofrad and Majid Moussavian, co-presidents of the Persian Parade Foundation, announced that the 9th Annual Persian Parade, a celebration of the culture, traditions and contributions of the Persian people, will kick off this Sunday, April 15th at 12 Noon from Madison Avenue/38th Street. The parade, a non-political, non-religious, cultural event will march downtown to 26th Street.
Political figures and celebrities in support of the Persian people are expected to participate.
Many from Persia's rich and diverse ethnic community will march, including Muslims, Jews, Zoroastrians, Baha'is, Kurds, Turkish and people of the Caspian Sea region. The emphasis is on the cultural influences of the Persians: one of the threads that unites this community and offers a reason to celebrate is the advent of "Nowruz", the Persian New Year. "Nowruz" literally means "new day" and coincides with the arrival of Spring. "Nowruz," the New Year, is celebrated in Iran as well as many other nations, such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and the Kurdish territories. While many cultures celebrate the change in seasons, few are as ancient, colorful and rich in symbolism as the traditional ceremonies for the "Nowruz".
Even though the diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran are tenuous at best, Sunday's parade is not a political rally. Instead, it attracts record numbers of Iranian-Americans from all over the United States, marking the arrival of spring, a season of rebirth and hope. The colorful parade will feature a large number of activities, musical acts, dance ensembles, flags, floats, performers, marchers and dignitaries -- an impressive display of Persian pride.
Most people today, know Persia or Iran through its carpets, its caviar, its costly war with its neighbor Iraq, or through its importance as one of the world's major oil-producing nations. Yet, Persia has one of the oldest cultures in the world. For more than three-thousand years Persia was a melting pot of civilizations and demographic movements between Asia and Europe. Under Cyrus the Great, it became the center of the world's first empire. Successive invasions by the Greeks, Arabs, Mongols and Turks developed the nation's culture through rich and diverse philosophical, artistic, scientific and religious influences. Many a Persian is quick to point out that Iran won the Oscar this year for Best Foreign Film -- "A Separation."
For more information about this Sunday's Persian Parade or to make a contribution to the not-for-profit Persian Parade Foundation, visit www.persianprade.com