Kyrgyzstan is a 90% mountainous country, so there aren’t many mass holidays and events that affect the entire population.
Nomadism results in much in this country being subordinate to internal cycles, inextricably linked to nature.
New Year in the Gregorian calendar
Kyrgyzstan celebrates the New Year twice. The first one is celebrated by Gregorian calendar on December 31 and January 1. It is celebrated in the same way as in many other countries of the former USSR: with presents and a Christmas tree…
The Kyrgyz have their own Santa Claus, his name is Ayaz Ata. He walks around the houses and finds out who has behaved the best, who deserves more presents, who should be praised and who should be punished for disobeying.
The weekend here in honor of the New Year is from January 1 to January 7. They also celebrate the old New Year on the night of January 13 to 14.
Nooruz Mairam or simply Nooruz in some countries is called Navruz. Translated from the Persian language means “new day. This holiday was officially included by UNESCO in a representative intangible list of cultural heritage of mankind.
In 2010, the UN General Assembly officially recognized March 21 as Nowruz Day.
The holiday plays a special role for Turkic, Iranian and Caucasian peoples.
Its history goes back to ancient Iran, but in each country the holiday has undergone its own changes, which were influenced by historical events and its significance. In Kyrgyzstan, Nowruz is mixed with the custom of honoring ancestors. Here they do not drink alcohol during the celebration of this holiday, but it is customary to gather as a family.
It is believed that this time should not catch the family in strife or quarrels. It is not good to hoard old grudges, so the gathering of the whole family under the roof of the eldest still means that they can reconcile the youngest.
During Nowruz, which lasts 13 days, starting from March 21, you can see the traditional local housing – the yurt. In principle, it does not differ much, all nomads approximately the same, the only difference is the color and decorations, and slightly in shape. The Kyrgyz have it more elongated compared to the nomads of other countries.
If a girl or a boy is born at this time, an ancient custom advises that children should be named after the holiday, Navruz.
Nooruz is celebrated with joyful dances, folk festivities, which goes well with dedication of time to the family.
It is celebrated on August 31. At first, it was a significant date, since the territory was largely dependent on the USSR, obtaining independence and the consequences of this step for the country were not immediately realized. Then the celebration became somewhat formal in nature.
The role of Independence Day gradually increased as the national consciousness of the residents of Kyrgyzstan began to grow. As a result, many who have worked for years for the republic are now proud of their achievements, their country and their people, of what they have done and what they have come to. There is no desire in Kyrgyzstan to abandon its history; it is perceived as part of the heritage, the cultural past and what explains the present.
One of the two major Muslim holidays, which is an official holiday in Kyrgyzstan. The holiday coincides with the end of Lent. According to the canons, girls from the age of 9 and boys from the age of 12 fast. Exempt from fasting are pregnant, lactating and sick.
A solemn speech from the Supreme Mufti of Kyrgyzstan is obligatory, after which everyone goes home for the festive table. The canons of Islam also prescribe that every orthodox believer should visit seven houses and eat there and give alms.
Eid al-Ait is a Muslim holiday (Eid al-Adha). It is the biggest holiday, and its exact date is not fixed, because it is determined by the lunar calendar, but most often it falls in the fall.
It is celebrated from the 10th to the 13th day of the month of Zul-Hijjah in the Islamic calendar. It marks and concludes the Hajj, the holy pilgrimage.
One of the main traditions associated with this holiday is the custom of sacrificing an animal, usually a specially fattened best ram. According to the rules, a Muslim divides the carcass into three parts. One part is given to the poorest, the second part to relatives, friends and neighbors.
In Bishkek, the celebrations are massively popular. A large number of believers come out to the Old Square.
Bird catching is something of a national pastime and tradition in Kyrgyzstan. The event takes place on August 13, once a year, on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul. The program includes obligatory folklore show, falconry demonstration, different games and amusements, loved by the owners of birds and by birds themselves. In addition, you can see the open-air exhibition, admire the items of applied art or have a look at the real yurt camp.
Besides falcons, everyone can admire eagles, golden eagles and falcons, as well as gyrfalcons. Birds not only hunt hares but (some of them) also catch fish.
Nowadays in Kyrgyzstan the hunting value of birds is decreasing, so there are fewer and fewer people who would keep and practice them.
It takes place in early September on the northern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul. This festival attracts not only Kyrgyz nomads but also people from Russia, Mongolia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and many other countries. Competitions in different categories are organized: horse games, falconry, different competitions between wrestlers.
The holiday is very rich, several events may take place here at one time. There are also fairs, selling all kinds of souvenirs and handicrafts: to take away a gift from here means to leave a memory of this amazing event.
Kyrgyzstan’s official celebrations in 2021.
Kyrgyzstan celebrates the New Year on the night of December 31 to January 1. In the pre-Soviet period, the Kyrgyz did not know this holiday, but now it has become traditional. People look forward to it and try to celebrate it brightly and cheerfully: they decorate fir trees, cook a variety of dishes, buy gifts.
The new year is usually celebrated in a family circle around the festive table. Naturally, the table is filled with all the best and favorites. The national dishes usually include beshbarmak, manty, chuchuk, meat, and those common throughout the post-Soviet space: Olivier, chicken, pickles and more. The Kyrgyz table is not without fruits and dried fruits.
Dinner on this day is especially long. It begins at 8:00 p.m. on December 31 and lasts until 2-3 a.m. on January 1. During the meal, everyone exchanges greetings and gifts. Children are mostly given sweets and Santa Claus, whose presence makes the evening fabulous and special.
At midnight, after the President’s greeting, everyone goes outside to admire the colorful lights of fireworks and fireworks. Many gather on the main square to share their joy over the New Year with as many people as possible.
On this day in Kyrgyzstan, about one million Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas. Christmas celebrations are taking place in all the churches of the Republic. At the Bishkek Resurrection Cathedral, the Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan bishop greets the faithful. The celebration of Christmas in Kyrgyzstan is no different from how it is done in other countries. On Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, there are celebratory services in churches. Christmas is celebrated at home with family and friends. The holiday table is very rich. On the table there is always kutya or sociova, made of wheat, nuts, honey, dried fruits and poppy seeds. It is customary to begin the holiday meal with this dish. Christmas is followed by Christmas Eve, which ends with the Feast of the Epiphany.
February 23 is officially recognized as Defender of the Fatherland Day. It is commonly referred to as Men’s Day. The holiday survived in Kyrgyzstan even after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
On this day there are no public events, but in educational institutions and teams do not miss the opportunity to congratulate men, give them gifts and sit together at the festive table, exchanging good humor and good wishes.
International Women’s Day, March 8, is officially a public holiday in Kyrgyzstan.
It is celebrated as a holiday of spring and attention to women, and is a great excuse for men to please their beloved and beloved women with flowers, gifts and care.
According to an annual tradition, on the eve of March 8, the male colleagues congratulate their female colleagues on the workday. They lay the table with different delicious dishes and sweets, give flowers and gifts.
International Women’s Day on March 8 is usually celebrated with family and friends. Each family does it in its own way: some gather at the festive table, while others go to the country or in a cafe for a festive feast.
But the original meaning of this date – the fight against discrimination against women – has long been forgotten. The spring holiday is a wonderful occasion to remind women of their beauty and importance in the life of every family and the country as a whole.
Nooruz (Nauryz, Navruz) is a celebration of the spring equinox, the new year according to the solar calendar.
It is celebrated on the 21st of March. It is a rest day. The vernal equinox is the culmination of the full harmony of nature and man, the time of awakening and renewal of all life.
Since February 5, 1991 after signing the Decree “On establishment of Nooruz national holiday” by President of Kyrgyzstan it was included in the list of the most honored public holidays. Nooruz was not banned during the Soviet times, but it was not celebrated either.
On Nooruz, theatrical performances and performances by artists are traditionally held not only on the main square of the capital Bishkek, but also all over the country.
One of the main events of the holiday is the national equestrian games – Kok boru, Atchabysh and Tynenmey. They are held at the Hippodrome.
The main dish of the Nooruz holiday is “sumolok”. The process of its preparation is filled with beauty, unity, mystical power and resembles a sacred action.
On the night before the holiday, sumolok is traditionally prepared from sprouted wheat and barley, adding some flour, as well as dried apricots and raisins. Some washed stones or walnuts with shells are put in the cauldron for grinding. There is a belief that if you find one of these stones or nuts in your bowl with sumolok, your wish will surely come true.
While the porridge is being boiled, which is alternately stirred by neighbors, friends and relatives, folk songs and legends are sung in the yard all night long. Respect and reverence reigns between relatives and friends, and the participants are sure that such relations will last for many years.
The prayers recited at this time contain requests for the year to be rich, productive, peaceful and prosperous. Read more.
People’s April Revolution Day is a public holiday celebrated on April 7 and has been an official day off since 2016.
It commemorates the second revolution of 2010. On this day there are both celebrations and mourning events across the country. More than 80 people died in the struggle for freedom and democracy in Kyrgyzstan. In memory of these terrible events, flowers are laid at the monument in their honor. The main events are attended by the president on Ala-Too Square.
Labor Day has been celebrated since Soviet times. It used to be called the Day of International Solidarity of Workers. Officially in Soviet Kyrgyzstan, May 1st was first celebrated in 1919. In Soviet times, the holiday was accompanied by May Day demonstrations, sporting events, and public festivities. After the collapse of the USSR, it became largely just a day off to spend time with family and friends and to go out for a picnic, in a park or in the countryside.
Constitution Day of the Kyrgyz Republic began to be celebrated on May 5, 1993, after the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic was adopted at the 12th session of the Supreme Soviet. Since that landmark moment, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan was renamed the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Constitution of the Kyrgyz SSR, adopted in 1978, lost its force.
In June 2010, a new Constitution was drafted and adopted, which is still in force today. Kyrgyzstan switched to a parliamentary form of government.
But May 5 is officially considered Constitution Day, symbolizing the first independent steps of independent Kyrgyzstan. On this day off, there are no holiday events, but there is an opportunity to relax in the mountains or on the lake, to spend time with family and friends.
Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 is celebrated every year on May 9. Wreaths and flowers are laid at the Eternal Flame on Victory Square. In memory of fallen soldiers a minute of silence is declared, at the end of which the company of the guard of honor makes a threefold salute.
President and veterans of the Great Patriotic War are present in the square. Not far from Victory Square, there is an exhibition of military equipment, which everyone can look at.
In many cities of the Republic on this day there is an immortal regiment march with citizens carrying portraits of their relatives – participants in the war. Victory Day ends with a concert and fireworks.
Orozo Ait and Kurman Ait, or Eid al-Adha, are Muslim holidays that are determined by the lunar calendar, so their date changes every year. Orozo Ait marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. During Ramadan, some businesses and restaurants close during the day and only open during dinner, but many establishments are open to the public during regular hours.
Kurman Ayt, or the Feast of Sacrifice, is a time of prayer, reflection and festive meals with family. Read more.
Independence Day of the Republic has been celebrated in the country on August 31 since 1991. Independence was proclaimed at an extraordinary session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, where it was declared an independent, sovereign, democratic state.
Festivities related to this date are held on the main square of the capital, “Ala-Too,” with the participation of the president and prominent figures of the Republic. Traditionally, many people gather on the square.
After the President’s congratulatory speech, there are theatrical performances, in which groups from all over the country take part. Hippodrome equestrian games are held, and in the parks of Bishkek there are performances of artists in various genres. The celebration of Kyrgyzstan’s Independence Day concludes with a main concert and a grand fireworks display visible from all corners of the city.
Kyrgyzstan’s History and Ancestry Days are celebrated on November 7 and 8. As of October 26, 2017, these dates are officially considered non-working days.
In 2017, Great October Socialist Revolution Day was renamed History and Ancestors’ Memorial Day.
The president and members of the government lay flowers at the Ata-Beyit memorial complex, which was established in 2000, at the initiative of the first president of the Kyrgyz Republic, Askar Akayev, on the site of mass graves of victims of Stalinist repression.
At the moment 137 famous figures of Kyrgyzstan are confirmed to have died. In 2008 the world famous writer Chingiz Aitmatov was buried on the territory of the complex.
People look forward to the New Year and try to celebrate it brightly and cheerfully: they decorate the Christmas tree, cook a variety of dishes, buy gifts.
Christmas In Kyrgyzstan on this day about a million Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas.
February 23 is officially recognized as Defender of the Fatherland Day. It is commonly referred to as Men’s Day.
The International Women’s Day on March 8 is celebrated as a holiday of spring and attention to women, and is a good reason for men to please their beloved and native women with flowers, gifts and care.
Nooruz Nooruz (Nauryz, Navruz) – celebration of the spring equinox, the New Year according to the solar calendar.
People’s April Revolution Day People’s April Revolution Day is a public holiday celebrated on April 7 and has been an official day off since 2016.
Labor Day The Labor Day holiday has been celebrated since Soviet times. It used to be called – International Workers’ Day of Solidarity.
May 5 is officially considered Constitution Day, symbolizing the first independent steps of independent Kyrgyzstan.
Orozo Ait and Kurman Ait Orozo Ait and Kurman Ait, or Eid al-Adha, are Muslim holidays that are determined by the lunar calendar, so their date changes every year.
Independence Day Celebrations related to this date are held in the capital’s main square, Ala-Too, with the participation of the president and prominent figures of the Republic.
History and Ancestral Remembrance Days are celebrated in Kyrgyzstan on November 7 and 8. As of October 26, 2017, these dates are officially considered non-working days.