OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS AND DAYS OFF IN UZBEKISTAN
New Year. This holiday is probably the most favorite among the population of Uzbekistan. The traditions of celebration are similar in all the CIS countries. Residents of the country give each other gifts, make Office New Year parties, meet friends to celebrate the outgoing year. Planning the New Year’s menu takes a significant place in the preparations for the New Years’ celebration. It is important to have a rich and fully covered food table. The celebration, as a rule, lasts for several days.
International Women’s Day is celebrated in all countries of the former Soviet Union. While in the West it is the day for the rights of women, in former Soviet countries, it is the holiday of women’s beauty and the importance of women in society and family. For men, this is an expensive holiday. It is customary to give gifts to female family members, acquaintances and colleagues. Since flowers are in high demand, the prices in flower stores are much higher than on regular days.
Nawruz holiday. It is the celebration of the spring equinox. The holiday is considered a family event. Traditional dishes are cooked for this day, as well as baked foods. Most residents treat their neighbors with pastries: samsa (local pastry), pies with different fillings, halva, dried fruits and sweets.
Memorial Day, dedicated to the Second World War. As a rule, there is a flower-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or the Mourning Mother Memorial. Festive fireworks take place in large cities.
Independence Day (from the Soviet Union). A public celebration and festive fireworks are held on this day.
Teacher’s Day. It is customary to give flowers and candies to teachers: from primary school till university professors.
Constitution Day. After more than two years of work, the Constitution of Uzbekistan came into legal force on December 8, 1992. Since then, this day has been celebrated as Constitution Day. In larger cities, the main streets are decorated in national colors. In addition, celebrations take place.
In addition to the above-mentioned holidays, there are two more official religious Muslim holidays that do not have fixed dates: Ramadan Hayit and Kurban Hayit. They are calculated according to the Muslim calendar. The Muslim calendar is based on the lunar calendar and one year lasts 354 or 355 days. This means that each year all the dates are shifted by 10 or 11 days compared to the Gregorian calendar. Consequently, Ramadan Hayit and Kurban Hayit have no fixed dates.
Ramadan Hayit (also Ramadan Bayram or Eid al-Fitr) is a holiday celebrated to mark the end of the fast in the month of Ramadan. On this day, as a rule, a table is set with treats, to which friends, relatives and neighbours are invited.
Kurban Hayit (also Kurban Bayram or Eid al-Adha) is an Islamic holiday of sacrifice, most often a sheep is sacrificed (it can also be a goat, a camel, or a cow). This holiday is celebrated 70 days after the end of the Ramadan fast and is the culmination of the hadj (pilgrimage) to Mecca. The origin of the holiday dates back to a story when the archangel Jabrail (Gabriel) appeared in a dream to Ibrahim (Abraham) and conveyed Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ismail. Ibrahim obeys Allah’s will and begins to prepare for the sacrifice. His son Ishmail did not resist Allah’s will and only cried and prayed. The moment Ibrahim wanted to sacrifice, Allah makes his knife dull. This turned out to be a test for Ibrahim. The sacrifice was replaced with a sheep. This is where the feast of sacrifice originated.
After all, not every family has the opportunity to sacrifice an animal. Therefore, very often in honor of the holiday, many treat their neighbors, friends and relatives with a flatbread on which various tasty foods are placed.