The Afghans celebrate Persian New Year, known as Naoruz (“New Day”), which is usually celebrated on 21 March when the sun arrives exactly on northern equinox. The center of Naoruz celebration in Afghanistan is in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, which is believed by the Afghans as the location of the mausoleum of Caliphate Ali bin Abi Thalib. In the morning of the Naoruz day, the people raise a sacred flag known as janda. People struggle to touch the flag as they believe the magical flag would cure any disease and bring good fortune. The Persian New Year celebration was banned by the Taliban, but right after the fall of Taliban, the ancient tradition revives again.
Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, 2008