Here you can find 10 interesting facts related to the holiday ‘Nauryz’.
1. In ancient times a celebration of ‘Nauryz’ started from a traditional greeting of the sunrise. It is connected with one of the ancient rituals – “If you see a water spring, so it is time to clean its source”.
2. ‘Nauryz’ is a holiday, that does not belong to any religion. Origin of ‘Nauryz’ is not clearly known, but it dates back to pre-Islamic times. Scientists today suggest that most likely this holiday is rooted in Zoroastrian and Pagan times.
3. ‘Nauryz’ is celebrated starting from the 14th of March in Atyrau and Mangystau regions of Qazaqstan (it is the western part of the country) and inhabitants of these regions call the holiday ‘Amal’. The traditional element of this holiday is the rite ‘Korisu’. On this day, everyone should exchange warm handshakes and it is obligatory should be done with both hands. It is also very important to greet each other with the words ‘Zhyl Qutty Bolsyn!’. In the Qazaq language it means ‘Happy New Year!’.
4. Children born during the period of ‘Nauryz’ celebration were called by the end of the XXth century by names with the same root or derived from the name of the holiday. Names that exist in our days are Nauryzbek, Nauryzbai, Nauryzgul.
5. Our ancestors considered the fall of fresh snow on this day as a good sign. It can be found in ancient Qazaq legends that the beauty of the girl was compared with the white snow of ‘Nauryz’ (the word ‘Nauryz’ means in the Qazaq language ‘March’). No wonder, because snow in March usually is not prickly, but very soft with a special whiteness.
6. There was a time in Qazaqstan, when ‘Nauryz’ was not celebrated publicly. It happened in the period between 1926 - 1988. ‘Nauryz’ was declared as a public holiday in Qazaqstan only in 2001. After 8 years in 2009 the President of Qazaqstan signed a decree, on the basis of which Qazaqstani people rest and celebrate the ‘Nauryz’ holiday 3 days in a row.
7. ‘Nauryz’ is celebrated not only in Qazaqstan. It is celebrated also in such CIS countries as Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and even Russia! And at the same time it is a big celebration in Afghanistan and Iran.
8. Nauryz has its traditional dish, it is called ‘Nauryz kozhe’. It consists of 7 components. This figure has a deep meaning, it symbolizes the days of the week, i.e. time units of infinity of our universe. And some rites and rituals are associated with this figure, too. At the celebration in front of the aksakal (the most esteemed and respected, oldest person), it is customary to place 7 types of traditional Qazaq meal. People during celebration of ‘Nauryz’ should visit 7 houses as a guest and invite 7 guests to his house.
9. In Uzbekistan, the traditional dish on ‘Nauryz’ holiday is considered to be ‘Sumalak’. It looks like Qazaq ‘Nauryz-kozhe’. It also consists of 7 ingredients that must be of plant origin.
10. In one of the first three days of Nauryz, according to the belief of the Qazaq people, an unusual noise like subterranean thunder should pass over the land. People say that sheep, who came from paradise, feel this noise as one of the first, and their shepherds can learn about it. On such a day, all nature, animals and people get a special energy, an energy of life. Qazaq people call the noise ‘Az’.
There is a popular saying among Qazaq people: “Wait, until Az will finish it work!”. It is also believed that on such a day you can not cut your hair and nails, so as not to get paralysis.