Kazakhstan is celebrating one of its favorite holidays, Nauryz Meiramy, a new year by the solar calendar of oriental Turkic peoples, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports.
The celebrations are held at squares, parks and streets in all the regions and cities of Kazakhstan. The celebrations include concerts, shows, bike races, contests, trivia games, sport competitions, tree planting and holiday food fair.
Nauryz is officially celebrated in Kazakhstan on March 21-23. These days are days off according to Kazakhstan's legislation. This year the Nauryz days are Wednesday-Friday, so Kazakhstan residents have five days off, including Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25, that follow the Nauryz days. Before 2010 Nauryz was officially celebrated on March 22 in Kazakhstan.
According to ancient Kazakh belief, a tree should be planted, a spring or a ditch should be cleaned on the equinox day (March 20 this year). House are cleaned up and holiday food is cooked before the celebration. Nauryz Kozhe is the main dish of the holiday.
Nauryz celebration traditions have been transferred from generation to generation by Kazakhs, Uzbeks and Uighurs. Tajiks called it Gulgardon or Gulnavruz, Tatars called it Nardugan and ancient Greeks knew it as Patrikh.
Nauryz is has been celebrated by oriental peoples since ancient times. Translated from Farsi 'nou' means 'new' and 'ruz' means 'day'. This holiday symbolizes the wakening and renewal of nature and the beginning of the new year. The essence of Nauryz is in the unity of people and nature. Nauryz is celebrated around spring equinox when day equals to night. After the equinox the days grow longer and the nights become shorter.