Take Toronto for example, where I live. For the first time ever, we had our own parade for the new year, which closed an entire section of a major street, and drew a large crowd of well over 1200 people. The parade concluded and spilled into the Assyrian Edessa Banquet Hall where there was even more people for the official celebration.
And unlike previous years, this year’s celebrations, both in Iraq and abroad, was more united than ever before. This is due in large part to the recent efforts of our various political organizations in Iraq to come closer and unite their stand.
The pride factor was very clear and visible at our parade here in Toronto. People were waving flags, singing, dancing in the street, shouting national slogans and so much more. This was arguably one of, if not the most successful event that I have witnessed here in Canada in 14 years.
Of course, it is always and all about the big parade that is done in the Assyrian homeland, in the city of Nohadra every year. That is the one we look forward to, and get inspiration from. This year’s big parade drew an estimated crowd of more than 30,000, with celebrations and parades planned for other cities around Nohadra, Arbil and the Nineveh Plains. And despite reservations from some about the many different flags that were being waved beside the Assyrian flags, the parade succeeded in uniting many different Assyrian parties and churches under one unified celebration.
I also think that one of the best things about the Assyrian parade in Nohadra, is the ever increasing number of youth going from from the diaspora, making the trip to be part of it. This is certainly a life-changing experience for them, and hopefully more will make it in the upcoming years.
Here are some videos from the parade in Toronto and Nohadra.
Assyrian new year parade in Nohadra, Iraq
Assyrian New Year parade in Toronto, Canada
-For pictures, videos and complete coverage from the Toronto parade and celebrations, click here.
-For pictures, videos and complete coverage from the Nohadra parade and celebrations in Iraq, click here.