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Yearly Calendar

 

Kazakhstan

Yearly Calendar

New Year’s Day – 1st January
The most favourite holiday for the Kazakhstanis. Their celebration of the New Year traditionally begins from the night of 31st December. During this time, cities and villages will host open-air merrymakings and the coming-in of New Year is ushered with salute. One can meet Father Frost and Snow Maiden in the streets. The Kazakh call Father Frost as Ayaz Ata which is literally translated as “Father Frost”.


Father Frost is a fairy personage of Slavonic folklore. He impersonates winter frosts in Slavonic mythology. The Father Frost’s prototype was St. Nikolai (Santa Claus) and also more ancient minor divinities Zimnik and Korochun.


Father Frost comes in New Year and presents children with gifts brought in a bag behind his back. He is often represented in a dark-blue, silver or red fur coat embroidered with ornaments wearing a cap (not a hood) on his head with a long white beard and a stick in his hand. He moves by a three-horsed sledge or goes on foot.


One of the main attributes of New Year worldwide is a festive New Year tree. In many countries it is decorated for Christmas day and called a Christmas tree. The Kazakh also observe this tradition that is why there is a lovely New Year tree in every house.

Orthodox Christmas Day – 7th January
Orthodox Christians in Kazakhstan annually celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7 to remember Jesus Christ’s birth, described in the Christian Bible. This date works to the Julian calendar that pre-dates the Gregorian calendar, which is commonly observed.

Men's Day – 23th February
Previously, this day was celebrated as the official Soviet Army Day in the Soviet Union. Now it is famous as Men’s day and they usually receive gifts from women.

International Women's Day – 8th March
Many organizations hold festive events devoted to women. Historically this day was celebrated as the Day of working women’s solidarity in the struggle for the equality of rights and emancipation.

Nauryz (spring holiday) – 21st March
Nauryz is a very important holiday for Kazakhs, which marks the beginning of a new year. It is celebrated several days starting from 21st of March, the day of the spring equinox. Nauryz symbolizes goodness and wealth, happiness and love and great friendship.


The Kazakh celebrate Nauryz in the same manner as other oriental people but they have their own individualities. The main dish of the holiday is Nauryz-koje or Nauryzdyk which consists of seven ingredients symbolizing vital elements. The number 7 is a fortunate number for the Kazakh that is why many festive ceremonies are connected with it.


As a rule, Nauryz began with a competition – a game between a girl and djigit, which represented a symbolic struggle between winter and spring. Different kinds of games and competitions were organized during the three days of the holiday where adults and the youth, children and women took an active part.


During the celebration of Nauryz, the Kazakh visit their friends and relatives; you can often watch people saying “Koktem Tudy” – Congratulations on Spring Day! Absolutely unknown people are greeting you wishing well-being. Contest of folk singers – akyns who glorify Nauryz in their songs are also held during the holiday celebration in Kazakhstan.

Victory Day – 9th May
The Day of Victory over fascist Germany in World War II of 1941-45 is one of the holidays, most respected in the world. This holiday is a day off in many countries and in particular in Kazakhstan.


Victory Day is celebrated on 9 May because it was the day when the act of unconditional German surrender was signed at 01:00 Moscow time. This holiday was celebrated for the first time in 1945 when Moscow organized the Victory Parade in the Red Square. From this moment every year solemn military parades and marches are held on 9 May in all cities and states of post-Soviet countries.


People of Kazakhstan pay a great attention to this holiday since this date symbolizes the protection of the Motherland and people from enemies. Furthermore, a lot of Kazakh people died defending their Motherland.

Independence Day – 16th December
The holiday marks the independence of Kazakhstan following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan Independence Day is marked by festivities in the presidential palace and many Kazakhs will dress up in traditional clothes. Kurts (traditional tents) will be set up in many villages where local delicacies will be served.