OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS AND DAYS OFF IN UZBEKISTAN
New Year. This holiday is probably the most favourite 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 an important place in preparing for the New Year’s celebration. It is crucial 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 women’s rights, 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 female family members, acquaintances, and colleagues gifts. 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 neighbours with pastries: Samsa, pies with different fillings, halva, dried fruits, candies.
Memorial Day. The day is 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 colours. In addition, celebrations take place.
In addition to the holidays mentioned above, two more official religious Muslim holidays 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 all the dates are shifted by 10 or 11 days each year 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, people lay the table for family, neighbours and other guests with treats.
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 Ramadan fast and is the culmination of hadj (pilgrimage) to Mecca. The holiday’s origin dates back to the archangel Jabrail (Gabriel) story: Jabrail 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 Ismail did not resist Allah’s will and only cried and prayed. The moment Ibrahim wanted to sacrifice, Allah made his knife dull. It turned out to be a test for Ibrahim. The sacrifice was replaced with a sheep. This is how the feast of sacrifice originated.
After all, not every family has the opportunity to sacrifice an animal. Therefore, often in honour of the holiday, many treat their neighbours, friends and relatives with a flatbread on which various tasty foods are placed.