The celebrations of the Iranian new year, Nowruz, on March 20 were overshadowed by COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Traditionally celebrated on the vernal equinox, many people begin preparations for Nowruz weeks in advance by shopping.

At the festival, people usually perform ritual dances and jump over small fires to bring good luck.

However, Iranians are advised to stay at home this year, put themselves in voluntary quarantine and avoid unnecessary street walks.

Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, said on Friday 1,433 people died from COVID-19, which has infected 19,644 people.

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RT 31 Mar 2020 16:49 CEST

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