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Nauryz dance performance
Photo by Alexey_Arz / Shutterstock.com

Visit during the Nauryz Festival

The best way to get to the heart of a place is through a beloved local festival

Nauryz is an important part of Kazakhstan’s culture and history. Nauryz marks the beginning of the year and is celebrated on March 21st, the day of the Spring Equinox. Directly translated, Nauryz means “New Day” and is an ancient tradition from the nomads of Eurasian Steppe. Nauryz marks a day of wealth, happiness, and friendship and represents leaving last year's transgressions in the past. The whole country gathers with loved ones to mark the beginning of a materially and emotionally prosperous new year.

A Kazakh woman in traditional dress © Pikosokz / Shutterstock
A Kazakh woman in traditional dress © Pikosokz / Shutterstock

The traditions cross country boundaries and are celebrated in other nomadic countries of Central Asia. While visiting the region on this day, your visit will be set among the melodic backdrop of the dombra and kobyz instruments areh paired with beautiful costumes, dance, and fireworks.

Elderly woman serving Nauryz Kozhe © Trofimchuk Vladimir / Shutterstock
Elderly woman serving Nauryz Kozhe © Trofimchuk Vladimir / Shutterstock

Your taste buds will also rejoice through this celebration! Try nauryz kozhe, a special soup and the cornerstone of the celebration. Traditionally made with seven ingredients: meat, milk, water, flour, rice, butter and grain, this taste exemplifies the day for many Kazakhs. These ingredients symbolize joy, success, intelligence, health, wealth, agility, and security. Guests are encouraged to join in and feast down bowls of nauryz kozhe alongside locals.

Many World Heritage sites are temporarily closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please check official websites for more information.

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Visit during the Nauryz Festival