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Nowruz, meaning “new day” in Persian, is a secular holiday to mark the start of spring and the new year on the Iranian calendar.

1. Tehran, Iran

Tehran, Iran

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AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi

Tehran’s old main bazaar bustles with activity, as vendors and shopkeepers work and wait for customers preparing for Nowruz.

2.

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AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi 3.

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Atta Kenare/AFP 4.

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Amin Mohammad Jamali / Getty Images

Iranians traditionally decorate a ceremonial table of Nowruz with goldfish, wheat grass, candles, mirrors, and other symbolic items.

5.

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Amin Mohammad Jamali / Getty Images

A traditional Haft Sin.

6.

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Amin Mohammad Jamali / Getty Images

A man dressed as a traditional character ‘Haji Firouz’ heralds in Nowruz.

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Amin Mohammad Jamali / Getty Images 8.

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AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

An elderly Iranian woman looks at the graves of soldiers who were killed during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

9.

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The Associated Press

10. Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

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Ahmad Masood / Reuters 11.

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Mohammad Ismail / Reuters 12.

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Mohammad Ismail / Reuters

13. Erbil, Iraq

Erbil, Iraq

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Azad Lashkari / Reuters

Iraqi Kurds celebrate in Erbil, in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.

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Umit Bektas / Reuters 15.

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Salih Bilici/Anadolu Agency / GettyImages 16.

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Salih Bilici/Anadolu Agency / GettyImages

17. Akra, Iraq

Akra, Iraq

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SAFIN HAMED/AFP / Getty Images 18.

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SAFIN HAMED/AFP / Getty Images 19.

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SAFIN HAMED/AFP / Getty Images

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/miriamberger/19-beautiful-pictures-from-celebrations-of-the-persian-new-y

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