Kazakh culture and national traditions.


The holiday Nauryz is one of the oldest holidays on Earth. It is celebrated over five thousand years as a celebration of spring and renewal of nature by many peoples of the near East and Central Asia, and according to some reports and the Eastern Slavs.

Historical information about this holiday can be found in many ancient and medieval authors. In the Oriental chronology, it corresponds to Iranian New year (Nowruz). From generation to generation passed traditions of celebration of Nauryz, Kazakhs, Uzbeks and Uyghurs. Tajiks called it “Gulgardon” or “Gulnavruz”, Tatar “Nardugan” and the ancient Greeks he was known as “Patra”, the Roots of this holiday can be found in ancient pagan rites. By itself, the form of celebration was meant to reflect the love of nature. Despite the antiquity of this festival is preserved in folk memory, and currently has a new spiritual and ethical meaning.

According to ancient chronology, this day usually coincides with March 22 – vernal equinox. That’s why the Kazakhs call the month of March Nauryz. It was believed that this day is updated in nature, the first spring thunder, swelling buds on the trees and vegetation grows wildly. It should be noted that Nauryz as a non-religious celebration of spring and renewal has common roots and Parallels with the wires of winter and many other significant moments in the life of all peoples of Kazakhstan. If this day the boys were born, they were traditionally called Nauryzbai or nauryzbek and girls Nauryz or Nauryzgul. If this day was snowing, it was considered a good sign. Even girl’s beauty in Kazakh legends is compared with white snow of Nauryz, since in the month of March is usually soft and fluffy snow, and extreme white.

In the past, the Kazakhs called Nauryz the Day of the ulus of the people or the Great day of the ulus. The people believed, the more generous the celebration of Nauryz, the better the year will be. Hence the abundance of holiday customs and attributes. On the eve of the vernal equinox people cleaned their house, paid off debts, put up were at odds, for, as the old folks claimed, when Nauryz enters their house, all disease and failure should avoid them. The night before the celebration symbolizing the wishes of the abundance of milk, crops and rain all containers filled with milk, ayran, grain, spring water, and on the day of Nauryz all tried to be in a good mood, when they met they made each other’s arms, and expressed best wishes to all the hardships and troubles he passed them.

Nauryz celebration started with the traditional meeting of sunrise associated with the ancient ritual – “If you see a spring, clean up its source”. Meeting the dawn, all adults, youth and children, picking up shovels, hoe, gathered in an agreed place near a spring or Aryk and made his clearing. Then, all together under the guidance of venerable old men plant trees. While traditionally pronounced the words: “Let it remain in the memory of man from a tree, rather than the herd”, “Cut one tree – plant ten!”.

After the performance of ritual activities in three people the way zhyrshy – barkers (crier) went around all the streets, squares, courtyards and called everyone to the feast. They were dressed in bright festive costumes. They could be characters of Kazakh fairy tales – Aldar Kose, Zhirenshe and beautiful Karashash. After that, they began a festive presentation. The people rejoiced, congratulated each other with coming New year, wished each other good, singing songs that have been composed especially for this holiday – Nauryz Zhyr, suited men struggle with a woman, in the tongue twisters contest – zhanyltpash, guessing riddles – gombak.

These days a lot of food prepared, which symbolized wealth and abundance in the coming year. At noon on the prescribed place at the village of the ox slaughtered and cooked his meat dish “Belle caterer”, which means “straightening camp”, because the bull was considered one of the strongest animals, and the food it gave them strength and endurance. Read also: primary hypogonadism

The holiday table was laid in every family. The meal was timed to noon, before and after a Mullah recited prayers in honor of ancestors. At the conclusion of the eldest of those present gave a blessing (Bata) so that year after year remain welfare of the family. When Kazakhs celebrate Nauryz, the binding was the presence of the number “7” which represents the seven days of the week – time units of universal eternity: in front of aksakals was put seven bowls with the drink of Nauryz-kozhe made of seven sorts of seven types of cereals. In the seven components normally consisted of meat, salt, fat, onions, wheat, Kurt, Irem-chic (cottage cheese).

The celebration always included mass games, traditional races, entertainment. The most famous and popular people were playing “Aikysh-wikis” (“Towards each other”) and “Audry-spec”, during which the horsemen were pulling each other out of the saddle. The Nauryz holiday was not complete without wrestling, to participate in which could not only boys but also girls. The girl was brave to a contest with the condition that if he wins, will acquire the right to her hand and heart, and if she wins, the horseman must obey her and do anything she wishes. In such cases, Nauryz turned into wedding celebrations.

All people, regardless of gender, age and social class, released from daily duties and equal rights took an active part in the fun and games. At this time he filmed various ethical bans regarding relations between men and women, even those that have always existed between the older brother (law) and daughter-in-law (Kelen). Scientists believe that this fun game for fun there is the distant echo of open meetings and joint mass entertainment in the days of the revival of dead nature vzaimoporozhdeniya between two clans or phratries, when for a short time acted the prohibitions and restrictions in the relations between men and women.

The day ended with a presentation where two bard in poetic form in the songs competed. They stopped the contest with the sunset over the horizon where good triumphs over evil. Then was kindled a fire, and the people with lighted torches went around the village, singing and dancing, thereby completing the holiday of spring renewal and equinox.

The history of Nauryz has been complicated. In addition the era of the totalitarian system, when everything national was found to be insignificant, and all mention of the traditional heritage listed as anachronisms and to the remnants of antiquity, Nauryz was repealed (1926) for the First time after years of neglect in Kazakhstan, it was celebrated in 1988 and, oddly enough, received a wide public resonance. The official recognition of the Nowruz Holiday was acquired on March 15, 1991 after the Decree of the President of the Kazakh SSR “On the national spring holiday – “Nauryz”. The President announced March 22, the vernal equinox, a holiday – “Nauryz”. Since that time, has been widely celebrated “Nauryz” throughout the country.

Of course, the modern festival is essentially different from its previous one. It’s not only theatrical performances and richly decorated yurts, deliciously cooked Nauryz-kozhe, but also holding charitable events, folk sporting games, care of green spaces, planting trees, cleaning parks and other recreation areas, streets and squares.

Nowadays “Nauryz” became a national holiday of spring, work and unity. Today this holiday is equally dear to all peoples living in multinational Kazakhstan. Ancient holiday Nauryz harmoniously transformed into modern life while preserving the continuity of traditions of antiquity.

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