Mashhad marks the second biggest city in Iran and has been a favorite tourist/pilgrimage destination during Nowruz with its huge number of historical and natural attractions.
Located in Khorasan Razavi Province, the local importance of Mashhad owes to the presence of Imam Reza's (AS) holy shrine, which attracts about 27 million tourists from around the country and some two million foreign pilgrims from other nations each year.
The shrine is particularly packed with devout pilgrims every year on special occasions.
Mashhad was selected as the Cultural Capital of the Muslim World for 2017 during the 7th conference of the ISESCO member states in the Algerian capital city of Algiers in 2007.
Celebrating Nowruz as the International Day of Happiness, the UN General Assembly named March 21 as the International Day of Nowruz since 2010.
Nowruz starts with the beginning of spring and equinox in Iran, where people hold ceremonies for the onset of the season.