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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND EVENTS

   The following holidays are official ones. All government agencies, schools, banks and most workplaces are closed on these days. If a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following day also becomes a day-off.

Event
Date
Description
New Years Day 1 Jan Christmass trees, gifts, fireworks. Celebrating the start of the New Year. Very similar to western Christmass. Most of labour surviving their hangover.
Constitution Day 28 Jan Commemorating the establishment of the Constitution of
the Kazakhstan Republic. Street festivals. Parades, fireworks.
Int. women's day 8 March Flowers, perfume and chocolate for women. The males do all house works. Women also get special attention and usually
receive flowers and a gift.
Nauryz 22 March Asian "New Year". Equinox. Street festival. Family celebtrations.
Labour day 1 May Labor Day, commemorating Kazakhstani workers. Street festivals, parades.
Victory day 9 May Commemoration of Soviet Union victory over Germany in WWII. Military parade. Greeting veterans.
Republic Day 25 Oct Celebrating the national day. Street festivals.
Independance day 16 Dec Commemoration of obtaining independence from SU. Street festivals, fireworks.

Note: Some Muslim festivals fall on different dates every year. Like Uraza and Kurban are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon. The exact dates are established by a decree of the President.

  The Kazakhstani people also celebrate following religious holidays you should be aware of.
Russian Ortodox Easter An Orthodox celebration of the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated on the second Sunday in April. Charch visiting. Baking special bread "Kulich"
Uraza (Ramadan) Begins the first day of the month of Ramadan in the Islamic calendar, a month of daytime fasting. The fast is observed as a celebration of thanksgiving as well as a way of gaining social empathy- feeling the pain of those less fortunate people who do not have enough food. (Practiced by southerners more than by northerners.)
Kurban The feast of Breaking Fast, the end of Ramadan. People organize big feasts and celebrate with family and friends.

In addition to official holidays and days-off there are also some popular holidays that are celebrated by local folks.
Feb 14. St.Valentine's Day A day to exchange love cards between couples and friends to show how much you appreciate your second half. Mostly celebrated by young people.
Feb 23. Men's Day Formerly the official Soviet Army Day in the Soviet Union. Men get special attention and usually receive gifts from women.

Apr 1.
April Fool's Day

A day for playing harmless jokes on others.

Note: International organisations and foreign embassies are closed on both Kazakh and their respective national holidays. Make sure you plan your visits to places and other activities in advance.

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