The Assyrian Australian National Federation (“AANF”) together with the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) will be hosting this year’s Assyrian New Year Festival on Sunday, 27th March 2011, at Fairfield Showground. The Festival will start at 10:00 am till 10:00 pm.
The official opening will commence at 2:30 pm. Like every other year, over 10,000 people are expected to attend including officials from Local, State and Federal Government. Also included will be a number of official guests arriving from Iraq and Iran, representatives from the vast majority of the Assyrian organisations in Sydney and Melbourne, and several other communities and prominent people. A variety of poetry, traditional dancing, songs and speeches will be delivered.
Many activities will be performed including a drama from the Ancient Assyrian history will be played by a group of the Assyrian Youth which resemble a King and Queen of Assyria coming from the remote past to bless the festivity which is scheduled to be played at around 6:00 pm, there will be something for everyone and every age. Ancient Assyrian art exhibition, great Assyrian music entertained by well known Assyrian singers all day supported with non-stop traditional dancing from the audience, great food, great displays, great games and fun for the kids and a spectacular Firework show at 9:00 pm. It will be a great location for family festival
The Assyrian New Year, known as the first of April is a very important day in our Assyrian calendar, for its heritage and philosophical background. Before the Assyrian embraced Christianity the Assyrian New Year Festival was celebrated for 12 days starting on 21st of March, the first day of the Assyrian and the Babylonian year , and was called ‘beginning of the year’ and concluded on 1st April were a nationwide celebrations take place. This date then and as it does now is the very beginning of the Spring. Centuries before the fall of the Assyrian Empire in 612 BC, when its power and civilization spread all over the Middle East, other nations like Medes, Persians and Arabs celebrated the 21st of March as the New Year for all the ancient world.
In general the month of April is considered from the ancient times to be a blessed month of the Lord. The 12 days celebration by the ancient Assyrians is confirmed by the tablets discovered and deciphered by the archaeologists explaining the festivities celebrated in those days. At the festival the story of the creation is read out to remind people of the order of the universe and how it had risen out of the struggle between Ashur the God of heaven and Tiamut goddess of the powers of chaos.
Today’s Assyrians in their homeland are rarely celebrating this festival in their own towns and villages because of insecurity and the repressive actions against them by the successive ruling government to practice their customs and heritages. They are subjected to acts of ethnic cleansing at home, the increased migration have drained their numbers, and mingled them with other nations not consistent with their heritage, whether in exile or in Assyria.

We invite all of the Fairfield community to come together and celebrate this New Year day with the Assyrians.
Hermiz Shahen
Deputy Secretary General
Assyrian Universal Alliance
Mobile: 0407 235 349