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Assyrian New Year Canceled in Syria Amid Fear of Coronavirus Outbreak
By Rana al-Ahmde
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HASAKAH, Syria -- Christian Assyrian and Syriac political parties in northeastern Syria canceled celebrations marking the 6770th anniversary of the Assyrian Babylonian New Year and Akito's Day over fears of the spread of the coronavirus.

Assyrians, Syriacs and Chaldeans celebrate on April 1 of every year, and the festivities continue for the following 12 days as families wearing folkloric dresses go out in nature and dance.

In a March 30 statement on its Facebook page, the Syriac Union Party, based in Qamishli city, called on people not to gather and to abide by the precautionary measures and stay home to curb the spread of the virus.

"Akito's Day comes this year amid a worldwide crisis as a result of the broad spread of the coronavirus," the statement read. "In order to curb this epidemic, we call on all our people throughout the world to stick to all instructions issued by official authorities."

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