New East Digital Archive

Kazakhstan celebrates 25th Nowruz since independence

Kazakhstan celebrates 25th Nowruz since independence
Traditional costume for Nowruz, Kazakhstan. Image: Stomac under a CC licence

16 March 2016

Yesterday marked 25 years since the presidential decree that reintroduced Nowruz as a national holiday in Kazakhstan.

Meaning “new day” in the Persian language, Nowruz is a traditional celebration of the spring equinox. Although not in fact a religious holiday, the festival was banned during the Soviet Union in order to erase any ties to the past.

The holiday made a comeback at the end of the 1980s, although it was not until 1991 that it was officially recognised by a presidential decree as a national holiday to be celebrated on 25 March.

“The events of 25 years ago are already history, with a generation growing up without having experienced the era of change, when the country was in urgent need of complex public policy reforms and an economy to lay the foundation of independent Kazakhstan,” said Boris Zhaparov, director of the Archive of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

This year the holiday is to be celebrated for five days from 19 until 24 March.

Source: Zakon (in Russian)