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Snow might not be ideal weather for a festival that marks the coming of Spring. But the annual feast of Nowruz is a big deal in Tajikistan.

Hence preparations, amid the white stuff, for a party complete with international guests. Nowruz is celebrated in countries from Asia to the Middle East.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai are among those attending.

And judging by those who talked to our correspondent in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, there is no shortage of holiday spirit.

“I wish a happy Nowruz, health and prosperity to all Iranians and Persian speakers,” said one young woman.

“On behalf of all Tajik people, I wish happiness, health and joy to all who celebrate Nowruz,” a man added.

“I am Tajik from Dushanbe. I wish you a lifetime of happiness,“a woman told our reporter.

Poverty is rife in this ex-Soviet state and life is not easy. But renewal and friendship are celebrated at this time of year.

Euronews correspondent Babak Kamiar says:
“Nowruz is an important springtime festival for the Tajik people. Even a heavy snow fall has not put a damper on this year’s event.”

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