National holidaysBy far the biggest Central Asian holiday is the spring festival of Navruz (New Day), an Islamic adaptation of pre -I slamic vernal equinox or renewal celebrations, celebrated approximately on the vernal equinox (21 March). It is the celebrations of the nature’s awakening and start of sowing works, which preserved in its rituals the features of Zoroastrianism. In farming oases of ancient Uzbekistan large public festivities, holidays bazaars were organized annually. During the years of state independence the celebration of Navruz acquired the new scale and depth. It became the nationwide holiday of friendship, unity, eternity of all nations. Philosophical and poetic reflection of Navruz, its role in the public history is discovered in bright theater - type shows. Now it’s a two day affair consisting of traditional games, music, drama festivals, street art and colorful fairs. If that gets the adrenalin flowing, you can also check out wrestling, ram fighting and cock fighting. Traditionally, even today people cook "baursak" and prepare ritual dish - sumalyak. After celebration usually the field works start, which in the past were also accompanied by performance of various ceremonies: before going to the filed the horns and neck of the bullock and bull were treated by oil. First furrow is performed by the most respected and eldest member of the community. The religious holiday associated with the end of fasting. Ramazan Khayit and Qurban - Hayit are celebrated widely. Ramadan, the month of sunrise - to - sunset fasting, is observed with little fanfare in most parts of Uzbekistan, and travelers will still find plenty of food available. Ramazan - Khayit holiday is amazing - holiday of spiritual and moral cleansing. It starts from the end of 30 - days fasting which fall to the 9th month of Muslim year of Khidjra according to Islamic laws. On this holiday people commemorate the dead, visit the sick and elder people, are engaged in charity and other good works. Qurban Khayit, the Feast of Sacrifice, is one of the most important Muslim holidays. It is celebrated with the slaughter of animals and the sharing of meat with relatives and the poor. On this day after due rituals the believers pay visits or receive guests themselves, assist the sick, lonely people, express mercy to close people. On this day Muslims make pilgrimage to Mecca. More than 5000 Muslims from Uzbekistan go to Mecca annually 20 days prior to this day.
New year (January, 1st).
Is the first day of New Year. New Year is widely celebrated worldwide and at various times year. A symbol of New Year is the Grandfather a frost and the Snow Maiden, and also the dressed up fur - tree. Exactly at midnight from 31st December till 1st January, when hours solemnly beat 12 hours, there comes long - awaited New Year. People at this time celebrate and widely mark this holiday with native and close behind the covered elegant table. Also gifts and surprises are traditionally presented each other.
Day of defenders of the Native land (January, 14th).
This holiday in independent Uzbekistan is celebrated in honor of creation of own Army forces. The parliament of the country on 14th January, 1992 has made a decision on transition of all parts and connections, military educational institutions and other military formations deployed in territory of the country, under jurisdiction of the Republic of Uzbekistan. So the beginning was necessary to creation of own Army forces. On 29th December, 1993 January 14th has been declared by Day of defenders of the Native land.
Women's day (March, 8th).
The international women's day is a holiday of beauty, tenderness and feminity. On March, 8th also it is known as "Mothers day". People celebrate this holiday, as a holiday of love, kindness and beauty. We are once again convinced and deeply we realize, concepts of Spring and the Woman as they supplement each other are how much harmonious. The nature not has disposed of gift so, that the female holiday coincides in the first days of spring as beauty of the woman compare to a gentle flower. Men give this day to the mothers, wives and daughters flowers and gifts with sincere wishes.
With the obtaining of the country’s independence ancient customs and traditions of Uzbek people have revived, holiday Navruz also has been restored, and celebrating has got new scope and depth. It became a national holiday of friendship, unification, brotherhood of all people. In the bright dramatized representations of philosophic and poetic judgment of Navruz, it places in national history reveals. Now Navruz is celebrating annually on Alisher Navoi's square.
Day of memory and honor (May, 9th).
In 1999 majestic Square of Memory has been opened in capital of Uzbekistan on 9th May and since then Day of memory and honor on May, 9th is celebrated. This holiday in independent Uzbekistan is celebrated in honour of memory of our compatriots which during centuries heroically, self - denyingly protected our native territory, its freedom and independence, a peace life of our people.
Concept "Day of Memory and honors" has very deep sense. This famous day a duty is to recollect and glorify those people who took part in fights against fascism, showed heroism and sacrificed a life in the name of protection of the Native land, and also such national heroes as Tumaris, Shiroq, Spitamen, Jaloliddin Maguberdi, Najmiddin Kubro, Namoz - batir which have sacrificed the life in the name of freedom of which during centuries people dreamed, to recollect such self - denying representatives of our nation as Kadiri, Behbudi, Munavar - kori, Chulpon, Avloniy, Fitrat, Usman Nosir.
People esteems that who has taken place through many tests and difficulties in a life, has not regretted the life in the name of the Native land, and senior generation, which and today among us.
Day of independence (September, 1st).
The main national holiday of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the Day Independence. This holiday celebrated annually on the 1st September, is ceremonial and colorful. This national holiday personifies all dreams and expectations of all Uzbek people which lean on main principles friendliness, solidarity, charity, mutual respect.
Representatives of the various nations living in Uzbekistan, despite of a nationality, religion, the social status all actively celebrate a holiday in each street, the area and the people living in mahallas and in regions.
Representatives of art arrange various shows on the areas, and also in parks of city. Many foreign visitors and tourists participate in various unforgettable traditional entertainments and representations.
Day of teachers and instructors (October, 1st).
Annually on the 1st October in Uzbekistan Day of Teachers and Instructors is solemnly celebrated. The deep respect for the teacher has taken roots in our territory during old times. "Domlo", "Muallim", "Ustoz" - these words during many centuries with gratitude and respect the pupils received from the teachers not only knowledge on subject matters said, but also manuals about the valid attitude to people, love to the Native land, about high morals and spirituality.
Pupils of schools and educational institutions deeply esteem all those who have given them the first vital knowledge. This day pupils with gratitude give flowers and gifts.
The Constitution Day (December, 8th).
The constitution is the main law of the state, the document which possesses a high validity. The constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan is accepted by the Oliy Majlis on 8th December, 1992. The constitution consists of 6 sections, 26 chapters and 128 article. This holiday is celebrated across all Uzbekistan, and carries out various actions, devoted to the constitution day.
The religious holidays with varying dates.
The religious holiday associated with the end of fasting. Ramazan Khayit and Qurban Khayit are celebrated widely. Ramadan, the month of sunrise - to - sunset fasting, is observed with little fanfare in most parts of Uzbekistan, and travelers will still find plenty of food available. Ramazan - Khayit holiday is amazing - holiday of spiritual and moral cleansing. It starts from the end of 30 - days fasting which fall to the 9th month of Muslim year of Khidjra according to Islamic laws. On this holiday people commemorate the dead, visit the sick and elder people, are engaged in charity and other good works. Qurban Khayit, the Feast of Sacrifice, is one of the most important Muslim holidays. It is celebrated with the slaughter of animals and the sharing of meat with relatives and the poor. On this day after due rituals the believers pay visits or receive guests themselves, assist the sick, lonely people, express mercy to close people. On this day Muslims make pilgrimage to Mecca. More than 5000 Muslims from Uzbekistan go to Mecca annually 20 days prior to this day.
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There are a number of Uzbekistan holidays and festivals. The largest and liveliest ones feature some form of renewal, such as the New Year, curiously celebrated here by the largely Muslim population with a Christmas tree and a Santa. Each locality naturally has its own festivals, too. One worth seeing is the Boysun Spring Festival in Boysum, deemed by UNESCO to be a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Another New Year celebration held all across Uzbekistan is the Navruz (also Navroz, Nowruz, and many other variations). The word ‘navruz’ means ‘new day’ in Iranian, so naturally Navruz is Iranian New Year. Held every March 21, Navruz is an auspicious event for many Uzbeks because it is at this time of year they pin hopes of revival and renewal. All over the country, families and local communities prepare sumptuous feasts for all to enjoy.
Many local or provincial celebrations take place in various parts of Uzbekistan during spring. The biggest and perhaps the most culturally significant event is the Boysun Bahori, or the Boysun Spring Festival. Held in mountainous Boysun in Surkhandarya Province, this festival dates back to pre-Islam times and features costumes, songs, dance performances, storytelling, and other local traditions which have withstood the test of time. This event is so steeped in the region’s history and culture that UNESCO has named the Boysun cultural space as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Shark Taronalari is Uzbekistan’s international world music festival. First held in 1997 in Samarkand, the festival has attracted a growing number of performers and participants through the years. It usually takes place every summer. Folk singers who practice traditional musical genres such as uran khai (throat singing) and makom (sacred classical, melodic Uzbek music) come to the festival to perform.
Independence Day, held every September 1, is the biggest national holiday as the entire country remembers the day when it gained its independence and sovereignty after a long era of Soviet occupation. Feasts and shows are held in many cities and towns, but it is in Alisher Navoiy National Park in Tashkent where the main event takes place. From this park, the president addresses the nation, after which performances from the country’s singers and actors take place, along with a large fireworks display.
Uzbeks have a particularly curious New Year festival called the Yillar. Traditions normally carried out during Christmas in other countries take place in Uzbekistan during the New Year. These traditions include putting up what is essentially a Christmas tree with lots of decorations. Uzbeks also exchange gifts during this time and at some feasts, a man in a Santa costume joins in the merriment.
Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr
As with any Islamic country, Uzbeks also observe Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, abstinence, and prayer. It culminates in a festival called Eid ul-Fitr, which sees families unite in large celebratory feasts. As these festivals follow the lunar calendar, dates for Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr change every year.
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