The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Nayrouz:
“Today, Coptic Orthodox Christians in Canada and around the world will welcome the Coptic New Year and celebrate the Feast of Nayrouz.
“Nayrouz marks the beginning of Thout, the first month of the Coptic calendar. The festival, also known as the Feast of Rivers, originally started as a day of thanksgiving for the rising waters of the Nile, which irrigated surrounding crops and provided sustenance for the ancient Egyptians.
“On Nayrouz, Coptic Christians exchange gifts and join prayers with family, friends, and loved ones. This year, celebrations will be different as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and follow health guidelines to keep each other and our communities safe.
“Nayrouz is also an opportunity to reflect on the rich history of the Copts. On this day, Coptic Christians honour and commemorate the martyrdom that the Copts endured under Roman rule. Through their determination and courage, Coptic Christians have survived persecution throughout the centuries. They now have vibrant, resilient communities here in Canada and around the world.
“Today, we recognize the many contributions Coptic Christians have made, and continue to make, to our communities and to our country.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I wish all those celebrating a happy Nayrouz!”