Nauryz symbolizes the renewal of nature and people and the beginning of a new life and is celebrated anually in March.
March 21 is the day of the vernal equinox. It is the day when the long-awaited spring comes to drive away severe frost, when birds return from the south to their nesting places - it is the period when everything starts anew.
For the nomad Kazakhs, the change of the seasons was of great importance. Winter was the most difficult time of the year. If people and cattle survived winter, it was considered to be a success. Therefore, the oncoming of spring, brought a lot of happiness.
For the Kazakh people Nauryz has long been considered the beginning of change.
Celebrating Nauryz nowadays
In modern Kazakhstan, Nauryz is celebrated for three days - from March 21 to March 23. It is a public holiday.
The main principles and traditions of the holiday have not changed. As before, people wish each other well-being. In cities and villages they clean park areas, plant seedlings, organize large-scale festivals, performances of favorite Kazakhstani artists, national sports tournaments, culinary competitions of pilaf (Central Asian rice dish) and nauryz-koje cooking.
Each year Astana stands out with its cultural and entertainment program. The main events, according to tradition, are held in open areas of the city and in the territory of the EXPO exhibition.
In Western Kazakhstan, according to ancient traditions, people start to celebrate Nauryz two weeks before the official date.
In all major cities, ethno-villages with yurts (traditional dwellings, round tents covered with felt) are built and concerts, theatrical performances, shows of tightrope walkers and sports competitions are organized. At the same time, there is an exhibition of artisans presenting their products and an agricultural fair where they offer national dairy products such as qurt, irimshik, jent, sarymay, and suzbe.