Renowned Iranian Setar player, Persian music composer and teacher Jalal Zolfonoun has died of heart disease at the age of 74 in Tehran.
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has sent a message on the International Day of Nowruz, calling on nations to work for a better global community.
"Nowruz is a day for family and friends, for festive meals, for dancing and singing. The day is an event to value mutual respect and the aspiration for harmony by all societies," he said.
Ban defined Nowruz as a moment of cleansing and rebirth, and an opportunity to renew wishes of peace and goodwill.
"This has been celebrated for millennia by peoples of Western, Central and South Asia, the Caucasus, the Balkans and other regions," he said. "Nowruz represents a rich tapestry today, weaving together customs, rituals and festivities in harmony with nature."
"The holiday is a reminder that we all share a common fate and must work for a better future. Here's a look at this ancient Iranian celebration," he noted
The UN chief stressed that at the current time of rapid change, world nations need cultural celebrations that join people and strengthen ties between society and nature.
"More than anything, Nowruz is a day of promise, the promise of life renewed and hope refreshed. On this first day of spring, we must all carry this message of peace, harmony and reconciliation," Ban said.
Nowruz which coincides with the astronomical Vernal Equinox Day or the first day of spring is as one of the oldest and most cherished festivities celebrated for at least 3,000 years.
The International Day of Nowruz was registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on February 23, 2010, and the festivities are now celebrated in many countries as far as the US and Canada.
The United Nations also promotes Nowruz by holding celebrations and introducing the tradition as a representation of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighborliness among peoples and different communities.