Public holidays in Kyrgyz Republic
Non-working holidays in Kyrgyz Republic are:
1 January - New Year
7 January - Christmas
23 February - Defender of the Fatherland
8 March - International Women's Day
21 March - National holiday "Nooruz"
1 May - Labour Day
5 May - Constitution Day of the Kyrgyz Republic
9 May - Victory Day
31 August - Independence Day of the Kyrgyz
7 November - The Day of the Great October
Muslim holidays «Orozo Ait» и «Kurman
Ait». They are determined each year according to the lunar calendar.
1 January - New Year
A New Year - a family holiday. Many people prefer to celebrate
it in a narrow family circle. For children it means Christmas tree,
holiday, lots of gifts, waiting for a miracle, and for adults, it is
a return to their childhood, to the magical world when Santa Claus /
Father Frost and his helper, Snow Maiden, bring gifts.
History of the New Year has about 25 centuries. According to
scientists, this custom was first born in Mesopotamia at the end of
the IV millennium BC. The ancients celebrated the New Year in March.
It was in March when the field works began, and the ancient Romans
considered the first month of the year to be March. Only in 46 BC Roman
emperor Julius Caesar changed it to the beginning of the year on 1
In 1699, Peter I issued a decree "On the celebration of the
New Year", which ordered "to count new years" from 1 January (1700).
The decree also said: "And as a sign of good beginnings and fun to congratulate
each other a Happy New Year, wishing prosperity in the affairs and
well-being in the family. In honour of the New Year, decorations with
fir trees must be displayed, children must be amused and sleigh ridden
from the mountains. And for adults, not to commit drunkenness and fights
- there are enough days for that". New Year's celebrations began with
noisy feasts, night festivals, dances around the decorated Christmas tree,
and fireworks. Under Peter I, masquerades became popular in Russia. Morning
bells started ringing. In the evening, all the streets and houses brightly
were lit. After the fireworks, celebration ended with a dance ball.
Empress Elizabeth continued the tradition of entertainment,
but in a civilised manner. She arranged luxurious Christmas trees, and
invited up to 15 thousand visitors. Even under Catherine II, celebrations
were no less of a grand scale, but now "holidays of belly" were in the
foreground: the best food products were saved and the best tables were
prepared for the New Year.
Up until 1852, Christmas trees decorated with toys were only
in the palace and the houses of Germans of St. Petersburg, until Nicholas
I ordered to display it on the station square. Germans even taught Russians
to decorate Christmas trees: St. Petersburg bakers, in the 40-s of the
XIX century, organised a mass sale of small trees with a pre-attached
candles and sweets - by the end of XIX century Christmas trees were already
all over Russia, even in village huts! It is then, the custom and tradition
to celebrate the New Year with champagne was spread.
In 1914, Nicholas II announced a Christmas tree to be the "enemy,
German ploy". Only Lenin exonerated a Christmas tree: on 31 December,
1917, in all the districts of Petrograd "proletarian" Christmas trees
were lit for the children of workers. A Christmas star on top was replaced
by a red, five-pointed one. However, hunger began in the city, and soon
Lenin banned Christmas trees. In 1935, Stalin rehabilitated Christmas trees.
From 1 January 1947, it became an official "red day calendar".
The history of Father Frost (Santa Claus). In some countries,
dwarves considered to be the ancestors of Father Frost, in others -
the medieval wandering jugglers or stray toy sellers. The image of Father
Frost was forming over centuries.
There is a long story even about the suit of Father Frost.
Originally, Father Frost was depicted in the cloak. In the XIX century,
the Dutch depicted Santa with a pipe, cleaning chimneys, into which
he threw his Christmas gifts. It is then, they put on him a bright red
coat with white fur. Later, in America, Father Frost (Santa Claus) was
"given" a beard. Soon in England, there was a final version of Father
Frost - a fat old man with a beard.
The Snow Maiden received her modern image in 1935 in the Soviet
Union, after an official authorisation of New Year celebrations. The
Snow Maiden performs on par with Father Frost, as his granddaughter,
facilitator and mediator in the communication between him and the children.
7 January - Christmas
Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on 6-7 January. Festive
Christmas services are held in all the churches. The day before the
festival, 5 January, Holy Days come to an end. On Wednesday and Friday,
the post is cancelled.
The night before Christmas and Epiphany, popularly called the
Christmas Eve, - special food - sochivo (juice from the seeds) is put
on a table in the evenings. To tenderise sochivo, wheat or rice is well
boiled and honey or sugar syrup is added. This dish came to end the
post. On Christmas Eve, it was common not to eat until the first star
in the sky appears in memory of the Eastern tradition, according to which
the new day begins, not when people are awake, and not at midnight,
but as soon as the sun is set from the previous day.
In the Christmas days, it was customary to go from home to home
with a star and glorify Christ - carolling. There were special songs
- carols, that youth and children sang going from house to house, they
were treated everywhere. Usually those who carolled, disguised so that
they were not recognised.
The time between Christmas and Epiphany was called Christmas,
and the night before Christmas - Holy night. On these days, festivities
were held, sliding from the mountains and horse riding also took place.
In Orthodox churches, holiday services begin on Christmas Eve
with the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. All-night vigil consists of
great compline, lithium, Matins and the first hour.
History. The Nativity of Christ (Christmas) - the great Christian
festival, established in memory of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.
The Orthodox Church is one of the twelve great feasts of the festival.
In view of the liturgical celebration of the most important memories
and secrets (along with Passover) salvation of the human race - the incarnation
of God in the world and the coming of the Son of God, begotten in the
flesh - is one of the most important days of the liturgical year and one
of the most important holidays in the most Christian denominations.
Currently, almost all Christians celebrate it on 25 December
(in accordance with a chosen community calendar style. In most of the
Russian Orthodox Churches it is 7 January by the new style. Day of 25
December was established in the Roman Church in the early IV century.
Perhaps, the choice of 25th December is associated with the pagan solar
celebration of "Birthday of Invincible Sun" (after the winter solstice,
the sun starts to come daily). The date of the celebration of Christmas
by Christians is not related to the real birth date of Jesus Christ. Top
23 February - Defender of the Fatherland
This celebration was set for military-patriotic education of the
younger generation, the creation of conditions for the provision of honour
and respect for the dignity of war veterans and the Armed Forces of the
The history of this festival dates back to the revolutionary past
of Russia. On 23 February, 1918 in St. Petersburg, a Red Army day was
held under the slogan of defending the socialist homeland from the "Kaiser's
troops". Since 1922, honouring the Red Army and the Navy, acquired a
character of a great national holiday. Since then, every year on 23 February
in the USSR, this was marked as the "Red Army Day". But since 1946, it
has been called "The Day of the Soviet Army and Navy".
Since 2003, the "Defender of the Fatherland Day" in Kyrgyzstan
is a public holiday declared to be an official holiday.
It is a day when women give special attention and gifts to their
husbands, fathers and sons. Top
8 March - International Women's Day
Today the festival has lost its historic mission. It was transformed
into a celebration of the beginning of spring and a day of giving attention
to women and their beauty.
In the early spring of 1857, textile workers in New York staged
a protest against low wages, poor working conditions and long hours. They
demanded higher wages, better working conditions and equal rights for
women. The demonstration caused a lot of noise. This event even began to
be called - Women's Day ...
On the last Sunday in February of 1908, thousands of women, again
took to the streets of New York. The demonstration was timed to the "Women's
Day" in 1857. Women began to demand the re-election votes, protested
against the terrible working conditions and in particular against child
In 1909, the Women's Day was once again marked by women's marches
and strikes. In 1910, socialists and feminists held Women's Day across
the country. Later that same year, the delegates travelled from the U.S.
to Copenhagen for the Second International Conference of Socialist Women,
where they met with Clara Zetkin ...
Inspired by the actions of the "American socialist sisters", Clara
Zetkin proposed that the question of the conference would be, for women
around the world, to choose a particular day when they will draw public
attention to their demands. The conference, which was attended by over
100 women from 17 countries, supported the proposal by a vote, the result
of which was the emergence of International Day of Solidarity in the fight
for women's economic, social and political equality. But the exact date
of the day at this conference has not been determined.
The first International Women's Day was held on 19 March, 1911
in Germany, Austria, Denmark and some other European countries. This
date was chosen by women in Germany, because on this day in 1848, the
King of Prussia, under the threat of armed insurrection, promised reforms
including the failed introduction of women's suffrage.
In 1912, this day, women celebrated on 12 May, not 19 March. Only
since 1914, this day was eventually celebrated on 8 March.
Since Russia was living by Julian calendar as opposed to the rest
of Europe, the International Women's Day was not celebrated on 8 March
but on 23 February. In the USSR, 8 March has become a holiday only after
1965. In 1977, the United Nations adopted resolution 32/142, calling on
all countries to proclaim 8 March as the day of the battle for women's
rights - International Women's Day. Top
21 March - National holiday "Nooruz"
21 March - Spring Equinox - a date that is remarkable, astronomical
and annually celebrated around the world. On this day, darkness and light
are equally divided. In the old days, when there were no calendars, spring
was determined by the sun. It is believed that from this day renovation
began in nature: the first spring thunder, swelling buds on the trees,
lush greenery sprouting. Nooruz translated from Persian stands for Noo
- new, Ruz - day that is New Year's Day.
The month of March was called Nooruz by the Kyrgyz. If boys were
born on this day, they were called, according to tradition, Nooruzbay or
Nooruzbek, and girls just Nooruz or Nooruzgul. If it snowed on this day,
it was considered a good sign. Even a girl's beauty in the Kyrgyz legends
is compared with white snow of Nooruz since in March snow is usually soft
and fluffy with a special whiteness.
On the day of the holiday, every family displayed dastorkon - a
white tablecloth with various food. To treat the neighbours, a traditional
stew was prepared, it was called sumelek which was made of wheat malt
with added flour, butter and sugar. On the eve, people cleaned their house,
paid off their debts, made up with everyone who they quarrelled with.
As the old folks claimed, when Nooruz entered their home all disease and
failure would bypass them by. The night before the celebration, to mark
the wishes of the abundance of milk, crops and rain, all tanks were filled
with milk, ayran, grain, spring water: and on the of the holiday, everyone
tried to be in a good mood, they hugged each other when meeting, expressed
the best wishes, that all the troubles and woes turned away from them.
People tried to dress neat, clean and, if possible wear new clothing.
At noon, the whole ail prepared for the festival. At a fixed location
near the village, a bull was slaughtered and its meat was cooked to
make Nooruz kezhe or chon kezhe - "big soup" - one of the most ancient
ritual meals, which was prepared from many components: meat, fat, rice,
peas, barley, wheat, corn, talkan , flour, millet, sorghum, potatoes and
spices. Food was prepared in such a quantity so that there was enough for
After the meal, games were played, they included "aykysh-uykysh"
which means "towards each other", and "audaryspek", during which the horsemen
pulled each other out of the saddle.
Holiday Nooruz did not go without wrestling, participants of which
included girls. A girl would call out a horseman on a match with a condition
that if he wins, he will get the right to her hand and heart, and if she
wins, the young man would obey her and carry out any of her wishes. Therefore,
Nooruz often turned into a wedding celebration.
The day would conclude with a performance, where two akyns (poets/singers)
compete with the songs and poems. Their contest would stop with the sun
setting over the horizon, where the good triumphs over evil. After that,
a large fire would be burnt, and the people with lighted torches would go
around all the neighbourhoods of the village, singing and dancing, the children
would be jumping over the fire, and the adults would say: "Go away, go
away, go away misfortunes", "New Year came, the old year gone" - thereby
completing the holiday of spring renewal and equinoxes.
Spring New Year's Holiday Equinox - Nooruz - emerged in Khorasan
(Persia) over 3000 years ago and has spread to all neighbouring countries.
The roots of Nooruz go to Zoroastrianism. It is an ancient agricultural
festival, origin of which is associated with the emergence of the agricultural
1 May - Labour Day
On 1 May, 1886 American workers went on strike, putting forward a
demand of an 8-hour workday. The strike and the accompanying demonstration
ended in violent clashes with police.
In July 1889, Paris Congress of Second International decided to conduct
annual 1 May demonstrations in memory of the workers of Chicago. First
day of international solidarity of workers was recorded in 1890 in Austria-Hungary,
Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, USA, France, Norway, Sweden and
some other countries. For a long time, May Day has been a symbol of revolution,
the irreconcilable class struggle. International Workers' Day is now celebrated
in 142 countries. Now 1 May turned into a celebration honouring the man
- worker. Also this holiday is now more associated with spring. Top
5 May - Constitution Day of the Kyrgyz
On 5 May, 1993, a Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic was adopted.
Since then, Republic of Kyrgyzstan became known as the Kyrgyz Republic,
and the Constitution of the Kyrgyz SSR, which was adopted in 1978, has
lost its power.
Since the adoption of the Constitution, repeatedly there were changes
and amendments, it was drastically edited three times (February 2003, November
2006, December 2006).
On 14 September, 2007, The Constitutional Court overturned the action
of the November and December editions of the Constitution. In turn, the
Constitution amended on 18 February, 2003 came into effect.
On 21 October, 2007, by the Decree of the President of the Kyrgyz
Republic a referendum was held, which adopted a new Constitution proposed
by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, K. Bakiev, which was signed by
him on 23 October 2007.
On 27 June, 2010 another national referendum on a new constitution
took place. On 10 October, 2010 there were early parliamentary elections,
where Kyrgyzstan became the only parliamentary republic in Central Asia.
9 May - Victory Day
Ninth of May, 1945 is the Victory Day over Nazi Germany in the Great
Patriotic War, which began on 22 June, 1941. Victory Day of the Soviet
people is the symbol of the steadfast spirit and heroism. Victory Day is
also a day of memory. All the years of this terrible war of the 20th century
killed more than 28 million of Soviet citizens, including more than 130,000
of Kyrgyz citizens. Victory Day is celebrated since 1946, however,this day
only became non-working, a day off, since 1965.
In Europe and other countries, this holiday falls on 8 May, as the
act of surrender of Germany was signed late at night on 8 May, when it
was already 9 May in Moscow at the time. Top
31 August - Independence Day of the
On 31 August, 1991,an extraordinary session of the Supreme Soviet of
the Republic of Kyrgyzstan adopted a resolution on the "Declaration on
State Independence of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan". Kyrgyz Republic was declared
an independent, sovereign, democratic state. Top
7 November - The Day of the Great
October Socialist Revolution
Prior to 1991, 7 November was celebrated in the Soviet Union as the
main national holiday, Day of the Great October Socialist Revolution. On
the night of 7 to 8 November (New Style) 1917, there was an uprising in
Petrograd, committed by the Russian proletariat. Armed workers, soldiers
and sailors seized post, telephone, telegraph, and the Winter Palace. The
Provisional Government was overthrown and proclaimed Soviet power, which
lasted more than seventy years.
Until the early 1990s, it was the most important holiday of the Soviet
Union and celebrated for two days - 7 and 8 November. Seventh November was
celebrated with a military parade and a rally on the central square and
squares of regional cities.
Kyrgyzstan is the only country in Central Asia, where the Day of the
Great October Socialist Revolution is marked. Seventh November is an official
weekend and a public holiday.
The initiative of the return of the holiday belongs to the parliamentary
faction of the Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan. The law was passed in
late 2001 and the holiday was first marked on 7 November, 2002.
Traditionally on this day, at the square of I. V. Lenin (Old Square)
in Bishkek, and other regional squares, a rally is organised by the Party
of Communists of Kyrgyzstan and the Communist Party of Kyrgyzstan, laying
flowers at the monument to the leader of the world proletariat. Top
Orozo Ait. It lasts for three
days and it ends a month of fasting - Ramazan or Ramadan, during which devout
Muslims can not eat, drink or smoke during all of daylight hours. All this
can be done only at night. It is a festival of spiritual and physical cleansing.
Fasting, prior to the holiday, is one of five requirements that a Muslim
must fulfil. All Muslims, except pregnant women, the sick, travellers and
participating in battles must comply with a 30-day post. If for these reasons
the Muslim is not fasting, he should feed one poor person for a month, or
30 poor people once, and the post must be moved to a different time. In the
days of Orozo Ait, believer visits the graves of their loved ones, meets their
friends and relatives, bakes boorsok, lights candles, and reads the Koran.
There are set mandatory general prayers in Orozo Ait, which can occur
in both the mosque and in special outdoor areas - namazkan. In the morning,
before fulfilling all the prayers, people perform all cleansing ceremonies,
dress in formal attire. It is recommended to eat dates or other sweets.
Kurman Ait, or Eid al-Adha is
the biggest Muslim festival - festival of sacrifice. It lasts 3-4 days and
is celebrated from the 10th to the 13th of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah of
the Muslim calendar. On this day, it is necessary to sacrifice animals,
killing sheep and lambs. Every devout Muslim should follow this ritual.
A Muslim who performs the sacrifice should not skimp on the treats, it is
imperative to feed the poor and hungry.
The meat of the sacrificial animal, as recommended, is divided into three
parts: one is given to the poor, second part is for preparing a feast for
relatives, neighbours, and friends; and third, Muslim can keep. Thus, the
sacrifice not only contributes to the spiritual cleansing of the donor, but
also provides a livelihood for some time to a poor part of the Muslim community.
A special prayer is included in a ritual celebration. On this day, people
visit the graves of their ancestors, pay visits to friends, giving gifts.
Kurman Ait symbolises the Muslim omnipotence and mercy of the Almighty Creator.
Kurman Ait completes itself by the rite of Hajj - the pilgrimage to the
holy sites of Islam - Mecca. Top