Thousands attend flag-hoisting in Mazar-i-Sharif
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Thousands of people participated in the traditional flag-hoisting ceremony, marking Nawroz-- the Persian New Year -- at the Hazrat Ali Shrine in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, on Sunday.
People including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, cabinet ministers, members of parliament and government officials participated in the ceremony.
The flag was raised at about 10:45am after a gun salute received by the CEO. Some of the enthusiastic participantsreleased balloons into the air after the event.
High-ranking government officials, who delivered speeches at the ceremony, ringed in the New Year and wished it would peace and happiness to country.
Thousands of people from across the country and abroad attend the gathering, a specific religious ceremony performed in the Blue Mosque of Mazar-i-Sharif.
Gul-i-Surkh(red flower)festival is one of the traditional events marking Nawroz, which is celebrated in Mazar-i-Sharif at a time when tulips grow in green plains and on hills surrounding the city.
A literal security blanket has been thrown over the city.Balkh police say security has been beefed up on the Mazar-Shiberghan and the Mazar-Kabul- highways in Balkh province.
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