Norouz in Kyrgyzstan


March 29, 2006

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Norouz has been celebrated for at least 3000 years and is deeply rooted in the ritual and tradition of the Zoroastrian religion. Today the festival of Norouz is celebrated in many countries that were territories of or influenced by the Persian Empire: Persia (Iran), Iraq, Afghanistan, parts of the Middle East, as well as in the former Soviet Republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is also celebrated by the Zoroastrians in India and is a public holiday in Turkey, where it is called Biram in the Turkish language and Newroz in Kurdish.

Only one day is celebrated as Norouz in Kyrgyzstan. The entire ceremony had been forgotten under the Soviets; however upon the collapse of the ex-USSR it had gained further importance and is celebrated in a better way each year. It is the government that takes care of the celebration in the cities. Nonetheless senior citizens in the villages are in charge of the ceremony in the rural areas. The feast is held in big squares of the cities as well as vast lands around villages.

Norouz is celebrated in spring and is the national New Year in Kyrgyzstan. Norouz in Persian means ‘new day’. Kyrgyz people believe that spring is new and beautiful. On Norouz people go outside to see the New Year show. The New Year show takes place at the National Square. It starts early in the morning and ends late in the evening. During that time, people walk, talk, eat, play, and just enjoy the holiday. In the show, people dress up and sing, dance, and play national instruments. Girls dance that national dance which is called ‘Dance of the Flowers’. Boys play a national instrument called ‘Komuz’. People go to different parks or places to celebrate holidays. New Year show is one of the most exciting and amazing things that happens during Norouz.

People also invite their friends and neighbors for dinner. Norouz is also known as a time for sharing. It is a time when people share their dreams, thoughts and hopes. People cook Kyrgyz national cuisines which include Mantah, Borsak, Katma, and Beshbarmark. Beshbarmark is the national food in Kyrgyzstan and is the combination of meat and spaghetti. The food is distributed for free among the people. There are a number of contests going on during Norouz holidays as well.

Norouz is one of the most amazing holidays Kyrgyz people celebrate each spring.

Original article