Kazakhstan celebrates Nauryz
ASTANA. KAZINFORM Starting today, Kazakhstanis will be celebrating Nauryz, a holiday which marks the beginning of a new year.
It should be noted that in 1926 the Soviet authorities banned the holiday as a 'vestige of the past'. Thus, Nauryz was not celebrated publicly from 1926 until 1988.
The holiday was officially restored by the Decree of the President of the Kazakh SSR on March 15, 1991 "On the national holiday of spring - Nauryz", which declared March 22 a holiday.
In 2001 Nauryz became a state holiday and since 2009 its celebrated for 3 days starting from March 21, Unofficially, however, Nauryz celebrations last for a month from March 22 to April 21 - 22.
In Kazakhstan's western regions, namely in Mangistau and Atyrau regions, the celebration which is called "amal" begins on March 14.
Nauryz is not a religious holiday and while its exact history is unknown, its roots come from a pre-Islamic era.
The traditional Nauryz dish Nauryz kozhe consists of seven ingredients, which symbolize the 7 days of the week. On Nauryz the aksakal is given seven bowls with Nauryz kozhe and Kazakhs should visit 7 friends and relatives and invite 7 guests.
Among the post-Soviet countries that also celebrate Nauryz are Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Other countries that celebrate the spring holiday are Afghanistan and Iran.