Holidays in Kyrgyzstan
Public Holidays in Kyrgyzstan in 2021
|January 1, Fri||New Year’s Day|
|January 7, Thu||Eastern Orthodox Christmas|
|February 23, Tue||Defender of The Fatherland Day|
|March 8, Mon||International Women’s Day|
|March 21, Sun||Nowruz|
|April 7, Wed||Day of the People’s April Revolution|
|May 1, Sat||Labor Day|
|May 5, Wed||Constitution Day|
|May 9, Sun||Victory Day|
|May 13, Thu||Orozo Ait (Eid al-Fitr)|
|July 20, Tue||Kurman Ait (Eid al-Adha)|
|August 31, Tue||Independence Day|
|November 7–8, Sun-Mon||Days of History and Commemoration of Ancestors|
In Kyrgyzstan holidays are several international holidays such as the New Year’s and Women’s Days, certain Soviet days such a day as a day of victory and defenders of the Fatherland Day. For big holidays, certain organizations will shutter, but are open enough to avoid any major inconveniences for visitors. However, border stations and governmental departments could be shut down so that big issues can be prevented.
January 1, New Year’s Day
New Year’s festivities begin on 31 December in Kyrgyzstan, as in all post-Soviet countries. During the Soviet era the festive New Year began and became an integral part of Kyrgyz society. It is celebrating brilliantly and cheerfully now in Kyrgyzstan. They decorate the Christmas tree, cook different food and offer gifts. The new year is normal at the holiday table in the family circle. Of course, on the table are all the most loved food: Beshbarmak, Manti, Chuchouk and Russian salad and pickles from the Soviet style.
Without fresh and dried fruit, the Kyrgyz table is not full. Dinner of New Year will be reasonably long from 20:00 on 31 December and from 2-3 on 1 January. All shares compliments and gifts at the party. The evening is invited by Azay Ata (Santa Claus) whose attendance is a special occasion for the children.
The President gives a congratulatory address at midnight and everyone is heading out to watch the bright fireworks lights. Many people gather to celebrate the New Year’s happiness in the main square of the capital.
January 7, Eastern Orthodox Christmas
On 7 January in Cyrgyzstan, several million Orthodox Christians will observe Christmas. Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan Bishop compliment Bishkek cathedral believers. Like other orthodox Christian nations, Kyrgyzstan celebrates Christmas. People resume celebrating Christmas at home, with their family and friends, after completing the service held in their churches. Particularly abundant is the festive table. Kutia, a ritual grain plates made from maize, almonds, honey, dried fruit and cotton seeds are on the table.
February 23, Fatherland Defender’s Day
On 23 February in Kyrgyzstan, the Faterland Defender’s Day is held. It’s widely regarded as the Day of Men. This vacation was initiated in the Soviet period, but well maintained long after the Soviet Union dissolved. There are no mass gatherings on this day but educational institutions and businesses are not losing the chance to congratulate citizens, to send presents to them and to meet at the holiday table.
March 8, International Women’s Day
On 8 March, International Women’s Day takes place in Kyrgyzstan. Men try to lavish women with flowers and donations this day. Male colleagues set tables with different tasty plates, cakes, flower and presents for their female coworkers.
It has long been forgotten what it means to counter sexism aimed at women. Women’s Day is a spring break and an excellent time to remind women of the value and uniqueness of each family.
March 21, Nowruz Bairamy
This is a celebration of the vernal equinox which marks the start of spring in the northern hemisphere, called Nowrus (Nauryz, Navruz, Nooruz). Nowruz is declared a national vacation in Kyrgyzstan on 5 February 1991. In Soviet days, Nowruz was not outlawed, but neither was it celebrated. Today, residents of Kyrgyz rejoice with concerts and plays in Nowruz. On hippodrome are playing nomadic horse sports, such as Kok Boru, which is called also Ulak Tartysh.
Sumolok, a sweet paste of germinated wheat, is the principal dish of Nowruz holiday. The preparing process is like a holy ceremony. The preparing of this dish takes about a week. The wheat is first soaked and ready for days. The last cooking takes from night before the light of day. Neighbors and family friends join together to help cook the stew. The night long in the courtyard while cooking the paste are heard folk songs and stories. In sprouting wheat and barley, some meal, dried apricots, and raisins are added. There are some walnuts with coats in the cottage. If you find one of these nuts inside your glass, it is a conviction that your wish is fulfilled.
April 7, Day of the People's April Revolution
April’s Day for the People’s Movement is a 7 April national holiday. Since 2016, it was an official day off. The 2010 Kyrgyz Revolution is commemorated on National Holidays. On that day, both festive and friendly activities take place all over the world. In the fight for independence and democracy in Kyrgyzstan more than 80 people died. Flowers are placed in their honor at the monument, recalling these tragic incidents. Ala-Too Square hosts the major activities.
May 1, Labor Day
The first day of Labour was celebrated on 1 May 1919 in Soviet Kyrgyzstan. In Soviet times, May marches, athletic competitions and celebrations were accompanied during the holidays. After the split up of the U.S.S.R., you might spend time with your family, friends and go on a picnic in the park or nature, to a large degree.
May 5, Constitution Day
Every year since 5 May 1993, Constitution Day has been celebrated. The day the Kyrgyz Republic’s Constitution was adopted. Since then, the Kyrgyz Republic has been called the Republic of Kyrgyz, losing its power by the Constitution of the Kyrgyz SSR adopted in 1978.
A new Constitution was established and ratified in June 2010, which is now in force. The government of Kyrgyzstan has moved to a constitutional form. The first unilateral measures of sovereign Kyrgyzstan remain as the day of the Constitution. This day is not festive, but because it’s a day off, many take the chance to rest and relax with family.
May 9, Victory Day
The Day of the Triumph is a public holiday commemorating Nazi Germany’s surrender in 1945. Every year on 9 May, the Day of Triumph is celebrated. On Victory Square, people carry flowers to the Everlasting Flame. A minute of silence is proclaimed in remembrance of the fallen troops, where the Honorary Guard shoots three times. This event is attended by the President and veterans of the Grand Patriotic War. It is welcome to attend the military show near Victory Square. Everybody is welcome.
In several cities, the photographs of family members who lost their lives during the war are shown. Concert and fireworks end Victory Day.
Date changes annually, Orozo Ait (Eid al-Fitr) and Kurman Ait (Eid al-Adha)
Muslim holidays observed annually are Orozo Ait and Kurman Ait. The lunar calendar establishes these vacation dates. Orozo Ait, the month of fasting, marks the close of Ramadan. Any restaurants and shops only open at dinner hours during Ramadan but most restaurants stay open everyday.A season of prayer, contemplation and sharing time with relatives is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice.
August 31, Independence Day
Independence Day Since 31 August 1991, when Kyrgyzstan has been proclaimed a federal autonomous sovereign State, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan has held an annual celebration.
The main square of the capital is host to holiday celebrations. President and influential national personalities join in celebrations together with crowds gathering on the square.
The hippodrome hosts equestrian tournaments, and in Bishkek Parks musicians of all kinds play. A gala concert and grandiose firework complete this Independence Day festival in Kyrgyzstan.
November 7-8, Days of History and Memory of Ancestors
The Days of Ancestor Past and Remembrance are held on 7 – 8 November in Kyrgyzstan. These dates are legally known as working days from 26 October 2017. The Socialist Transition Day of October 2017 was dubbed the Day of History and Memorial of Ancestors.
At the Ata-Beyit memorial complex, the president and representatives of government were laying flowers. In 2000, the facility was built as a monument to the victims of Stalin, on the initiative of first President Askar Akayev from Kirghizstan. The death has currently been verified of 137 influential figures from Kyrgyzstan. In 2008, Chingiz Aitmatov, the world renowned writer was buried on the spot.