PM Barzani congratulates Christians on "Akitu," hopes to promote peaceful coexistence in Kurdistan

author_image Hiwa Shilani
Christians from across the region, including the diaspora from around the world, joined the celebrations in Duhok, Kurdistan Region, April 1, 2019. (Photo: Levi Clancy)
Christians from across the region, including the diaspora from around the world, joined the celebrations in Duhok, Kurdistan Region, April 1, 2019. (Photo: Levi Clancy)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani, on Wednesday congratulated Assyrian and Chaldean Christians on the holiday of Akitu.

The Assyrian New Year, known as Akitu, marks the beginning of the year 6770 for both denominations. The event is marked annually by members of the Christian community across the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

“On the occasion of Akitu, the Babylonian and Assyrian new year, I congratulate our Chaldean, Assyrian, and Syriac brothers and sisters in Kurdistan and around the world,” Barzani said on Twitter.

On April 1, Akitu is being officially recognized by the Kurdistan Region's parliament as a key date and public holiday, though only for the Christian community.

Barzani added, “I hope this new year will be a year of prosperity, peace, and strengthening our culture of peaceful coexistence.”

Every year, thousands of Assyrians and Chaldeans from the Kurdistan Region and beyond gather together with their families to mark the day with music, dance, and other cultural activities.

The Assyrian and Babylonian calendar begins on the first day of April, which is Akitu, and the holiday lasts for 12 days.

Editing by Joanne Stocker-Kelly