Nauryz is a celebration of life awakening of Nature, of all alive creatures on Earth. It is the day of equinox. In the understanding of the Qazaq people “In March, the Sun, the Moon and the star of the Pleiades stand in a single line in the sky, an equinox comes”. Winter frosts are over, many farm animals give birth to offspring, the earth gets a warm wake-up call from the Sun. Birds come back from warm countries and beasts wake up from hibernation. Such a holy day the Qazaqs called “the Great Day” - “Ulys kun”.
“Nauryz” is celebrated in many countries. It is a centuries-old tradition. For example, the Greeks called the holiday “Patrick”, inhabitants of Burma called it “A Water Festival”, Tajik people called it “Gul Gardon”, Khorezmians called “Nausatzh”, Tatars called “Nardugan”, Buryats called “Tsagan Sar”, Uigurs called “Gul Nauryz” and Kazazi people called it “Nauryz”.
According to belief, you cannot sleep on that day, otherwise your blood will spoil. To avoid such consequences, it is strongly recommended to drink on that day a Qazaq traditional drink called “Nauryz-kozhe”. It is supposed to give a person a good spirit.
There are a lot of legends about “Nauryz-kozhe”.
One of them says: “In ancient times, worthless and wicked people sowed discord among people, as a result, a lot of riots took place, the younger generation stopped listening and respecting to the old people. The farm has gone to ruin. The eldest and esteemed people, who are called in the Qazaq language “aksakals” decided to gather and discuss the problem. It coincided with Nauryz.
A big pot of meal was cooked for the guests. After eating, the most respected elder said: “Even dogs fed by the same dog mother treat each other as relatives, and do not snap each other. We, too, like children fed by one Mother, on this holiday should eat from a common pot. It symbolizes that starting from today and forever, we will respect and honor each other like brothers!”. After that, people have forgiven old grievances and began to live in peace and harmony”.
Nauryz-kozhe was also used to restore the body after a long winter. As far as barley grits contains a large amount of hemoglobin they are added to the Nauryz-kozhe. As a symbol of fullness and prosperity, the Qazaqs put a “zhanbas” (a rump of beef) into the Nauryz-kozhe.
The main dish of Nauryz, Nauryz-kozhe is made from seven ingredients. In the worldview of the Qazaq people, the figure “seven” is sacred. Therefore, the ingredients that make up Nauryz-kozhe are considered sacred. Let's stop on these ingredients.
The main component of Nauryz-kozhe is water. Water is the source of life. So that in the future there was a rich offspring, like boiling water, water was added to the Nauryz-kozhe. A humanbeing can live without eating, but cannot live without water. Metabolism in the body is carried out thanks to water.
Water helps the digestion of food, delivers the necessary nutrients to the blood vessels. All harmful substances are excreted from the body with the help of water. Lack of water in the body leads to various diseases, and its excess damages the work of the cardiovascular system and leads to sweating.
That in the house there was always a prosperity smoked or fresh meat is added to the Nauryz-kozhe. The taste of meat goes well with various foods, improves the work of the digestive glands. For nutritional and taste properties, selected meat contains 14-19% protein, 12-15% fat. The meat contains water, proteins, vitamins, minerals and extractives.
Ancient healers believed that a person who often consumed broth in food would avoid problems with blood. The broth is very nutritious, facilitates the digestion of food and helps its absorption. The broth may be nutritious, the meat is soft and tasty, if the meat is poured with cold water and cooked.
Grains (millet, wheat, corn, rice)
Cereal is added to Nauryz-kozhe. It has a meaning that like an ear grown from one grain, there will be rich offspring. The nutritional properties of millet, rice, barley, wheat are very high and contain a large number of calories. These cultures contain small amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, nickel, cobalt, aluminum, iron, zinc, iodine, copper, chromium, manganese, fluorine, molybdenum, chalk, silicon, and vitamins PP, A, E, B1, B2, B6 and B9. Protein provides mobility, so it is needed for muscle contraction and straightening. It provides the body with oxygen. Millet contains protein - 10-15%, carbohydrates - 59%, fats - 38%.
Qazaq people since ancient times considered dairy products very important. Therefore, milk or cultured buttermilk is added to Nauryz-kozhe. Milk is rich in vitamins, carbohydrates and fats, protein and minerals, micronutrient elements and enzymes. Kurt is a national dish of Qazaq people. It can be stored for up to 2-3 years. In case of lung disease after a kumis, a kurt takes the second place. You can water the cattle with a milk whey or wash your hair.
Fat is the basis of all food, it is the most nutrient dense food. Animal fat has high taste and healing properties. 1 gram of fat, absorbed by the body, produces 2 times more heat energy than proteins and carbohydrates. Another property of fat - it helps the good absorption of other products consumed with it, gives them taste and aroma. Oil contains vitamins A, D, E.
Qazaq people believe that, having scattered salt, life will be bitter, you cannot give salt for free, otherwise there will be scandals. The last, seventh ingredient added to Nauryz-kozhe is salt. Salt is one of the necessary substances for the normal functioning of the body. It not only gives taste to food, but also contributes to the normalization of the water balance of the body, the formation of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice. Every day, along with food, we consume about 10-15 grams of salt. Edible salt is used in all types of food. Along with the benefits of salt it has contraindications, so you should carefully eat it.
It is worth noting that in different regions of the country Nauryz-kozhe is cooked in different ways, typical of the traditions of this or that area. Seven ingredients of a Nauryz-kozhe symbolize wealth, prosperity, happiness and unity.
Happy spring equinox!