People across Central Asia are celebrating Norouz, the beginning of the year according to the Persian calendar.
The first day of spring, or vernal equinox, Norouz is a time for new clothes, family visits and fires - which some people jump over to banish darkness.
Afghan horsemen mark the occasion with a traditional game of Buzkashi - when players show their prowess by grabbing a headless carcass of a goat or calf.
A major tradition is the display of the Haft Seen - seven things beginning with S in the Farsi language or other symbols of life such as goldfish.
An Afghan vendor rests after building his stall at Kabul's Kart-e Sakhy cemetery where many visitors come for family prayers.
In Turkey, Norouz has taken on nationalistic significance for the Kurdish minority, and police are often present at festivities to ensure order.
The biggest gatherings in Turkey take place in Diyarbakir where up to one million Kurds have been known to gather.
In Akra, in mountainous northern Iraq, Kurdish inhabitants light fires and display a huge Kurdish flag from the mountaintop.
Cultural festivals take place across the region, including in the Uzbek capital Tashkent.