Holidays in Uzbekistan
January 1 New Year
March 8 Women’s Day
March 21 Navruz (Oriental New Year)
May 9 Memory Day
September 1 Independence Day
October 1 Teachers’ Day
December 8 Constitution Day
Other religious holidays listed below which vary in dates annually should be considered:
- Ramadan Khait (Eid al-Fitr) at the end of Ramadan
- Kurban Khait (Eid al-Adha) 70 days later
The Independence Day of the Republic of Uzbekistan is one of the important holidays celebrated on the 1 st of September since 1991. Every year on the 8 th of December the Constitution Day is celebrated in honor of adoption of the new Constitutions of independent Uzbekistan. Like in many other countries, on the 9 th of May the Memorial Day is celebrated. Holidays associated with the end of fasting – Ramazan Khayit (Ramadan) and Qurban-Hayit (Eid al-Fitr) are celebrated widely. These holidays are important Muslim holidays.
Religious holiday such as Ramadan is a holiday of spiritual and moral cleaning. It starts from the end of 30-days fasting which fall to the 9th month of Muslim year of Khidjra according to Islamic laws. During this holiday people commemorate the dead, visit the sick and elder people, many are engaged in charity and other good works.
Navruz is also one of the ancient traditional holidays which have been celebrated for centuries by the nations in Central Asia and Near East. Historical manuals show that it has been celebrated as a large holiday since the reign of Ahmoniys (B.C. VI cen.). But during the reign of Arabs it was not celebrated widely. When Arab’s reign was over in IX-X centuries Navruz was celebrated again as an official public holiday. On the day prisoners were released. The nations of Central Asia considered that the first day of the year began on the 21 of March and the holiday was held on this day. The different usages of Navruz were held very magnificently in the regions of Fergana, Kharezm and Takharistan. Little by little by the influence of settled people this custom influenced to half settled and nomadic people in history. Passing many centuries, the custom of celebrating the holiday changed according to the lifestyle of the nations. People presented sweets to each others during the holiday. Sweets were considered the symbol of life and luck by Uzbeks and other Central Asian peoples. That’s why in weddings and other ceremonies sweets were sent or given reciprocally.
In former times on the first day of Navruz children divided in to some groups and sang the song devoted to Navruz at the gates of houses. The owners congratulated them with the holiday and gave different gifts or foods them. Some part of gathered food were taken to poor people in the village. This custom has still been keeping in some villages of Jizzakh and Samarkand regions.