Nauryz celebration

Mongolia travel destinations: Nauryz celebrationNauryz (Nauruz) is a traditional celebration of Kazakh people, celebrated from ancient times. This holiday is similar to the Mongolian Tsagaan Sar celebration in many ways. The day and night is equal on March 22nd. Daytime is prolonged starting this day, thus the Kazakh signifies this day with good luck. The Kazakh people have a custom for wishful thinking on this day

The meaning of Nauryz holiday is the ending of good wintering, growth of families and the flourishing of a nation. Nauryz symbolized the birth of a new year's cycle of life and Kazakhs came together in their auls to celebrate as a community. With this holiday, people greet with their siblings and relatives, and show respect to the elderly, where they listen to the words of wisdom of the senior aksakals (elders), conclude their doing and determine their future endeavors. This holiday, that symbolizes rejoice, unity and good wishes, is an inseparable part of the Kazakh people. On this day, where animals come out of hibernation and the soil melts and plants sprout at this time of year is during the Nauryz celebrations.

On the Nauryz holiday every family prays for the sun and treats the guest with pearl barley soup made with 7-9 different spices. This symbolizes to be as galore as rice. Indeed, the Nauryz festive table has important symbolism, the more food you have on your table, the better and more sufficient your life may be in the the coming year. Also games of horse race, wrestling and skin bag fighting are played. No alcoholic beverage is used during the holiday. According to old Nauryz celebrating customs, one was necessary to visit a minimum of 40 families. But today, this custom has changed for one to visit their relatives at their own convenience. The Nauryz holiday greetings do not require money and no gifts are exchanged. It is impossible to imagine Kazakh people without their eagle and their traditional lute, thus on this day lute melodies are heard in every household.

The roots of the holiday are ancient, and it's believed that the roots of Nauryz began at least 2 000 years ago, most likely in Persia. Nauryz-Meiram (Mei-rham means a holiday in Kazakh) is celebrated mostly in Muslim countries, but it is not a religious holiday. Nauryz is a traditional celebration of the spring equinox celebrated today by many nations throughout Asia and Europe. In some of East Asian Countries, March 22nd is noted to be the start of a new year. The word nauryz translates from the Persian language, consisting of two words nau-new and ryz-day, thus meaning the first day of the New Year.

In 2011, UNESCO registered the holiday of Nauryz in the World Heritage Fund, thus it became a notable event for the people who celebrate the Nauryz. Currently, this holiday is celebrated in 44 countries, including the Mongolian Kazakhs, which compound 8% of the Mongolian population.

Countries that have Nauryz as a public holiday:
- Iran (March 20-23, total of 4 days in general, plus 13 days for schools and universities)
- Afghanistan (March 20-23)
- Albania (March 20-23)
- Azerbaijan (March 20-26)
- Azeris in Georgia (country), Georgia (around March 21)
- The Parsis in India use a Shahenshahi calendar (around March 21)
- Iraq (regional only in Iraqi Kurdistan) (March 21)
- Kazakhstan (March 21-24)
- Kosovo (March 21)
- Kyrgyzstan (March 21)
- Tajikistan (March 20-23)
- Turkmenistan (March 20-23)
- Uzbekistan (March 21)

As for Kazakh people of Mongolia it is celebrated on March 22 the day of the spring equinox but it is not observed as a public holiday.

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