Sources in the western city of Herat confirmed to KabulNow that the Taliban’s vice and virtue enforcers have stopped families from celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year in solar Hijri calendar, calling it as “haram and sinful” to celebrate the day.
Agents of the Taliban’s Directorate of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice have been stationed in at least four exit gates of Herat city earlier this morning, forcing families going for picnics back to their homes.
“Celebrating Nowruz is haram and going out for picnic on this day is sinful,” the Taliban vice and virtue enforces have been quoted as saying to the families went out for picnic.
Today marks the first day of 1402 New Year in the Persian’s solar Hijri calendar or Nowruz. It is celebrated by various ethnicities around the world and most dominantly by people in Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.
It was celebrated on Tuesday at the UN’s headquarters in New York in presence of the UN chief, Antonio Guterres.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Taliban’s Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice reiterated that celebrating Nowruz was “haram” in Islam.
A few days earlier, the group’s vice and virtue enforcers visited 35 mosques across the central Daikundi province, declaring to the local people that celebrating Nowruz was forbidden in Islam.
Nowruz was a national holiday during the previous Afghan governments and widely celebrated in official festivities across the country. In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed it as International Nowruz Day after 10 countries, including Afghanistan, introduced a draft resolution for that end.
After returning to power in August 2021, the Taliban once again removed Nowruz from Afghanistan’s calendar as the group describes it as “haram” based on their own Islamic beliefs