Merry holiday New Year love and celebrate in a big way around the world, and in some countries, holiday holidays last up to two weeks (or even longer). But most of the peoples of Asia are still lucky twice as much - according to the Eastern calendar, it is customary to meet the first minutes of the new year on the day of the spring equinox.
This holiday is called Nauryz, which in translation from ancient Iranian means “new day”. So it turns out that in Kazakhstan people walk in a big way twice - first in winter and then in spring. By the way, both holidays turn out to be extremely spectacular and interesting, in the country they do not stint on holding public events. With one of them, everything is so clear, but about Nauryz, we will tell you more in detail: how to celebrate, what to do, what to eat and where to go. Believe, it will be very interesting!
Sacred origins: Nauryz and Tengriism
Several thousand years ago, when the nomadic tribes did not know Islam, the future Kazakh tribes deified nature, believed in the power of the sky - Tengri and earth - Umai. Water and fire were considered sacred, and the land was supposed to be treated carefully, not to kick or spit. It is believed that it was during this period that the foundation of the Nauryz holiday was laid. Thousands of years ago on this day it was decided to clean up the house, clean canals or water sources, cook a traditional meal of seven ingredients, gather under one roof as a big family and have fun until late.
All this is to some extent present in the modern version of Nauryz, which indicates its origin in the times of Tengrism. By the way, Nauryz appeared about 5,000 years ago, long before the adoption of Islam by the peoples of the East, and therefore was not attached to religious sacraments. Thanks to this, he is happy to celebrate the entire population of Kazakhstan, regardless of nationality, color, race or belief.
Folk fun and national flavor
What should Nauryz do to those who have never celebrated this holiday in their life? Go outside, of course! After all, all the fun passes right here: in parks, squares, large avenues and boulevards large-scale celebrations and a lot of entertainment events are organized, which, we are ready to argue, you have never seen in your life! If you are still not well-versed in the new city, do not be afraid to merge with the crowd - it will definitely lead you to the most interesting. Most likely, to a huge stage, where local talents or even invited artists will sing the coming of spring, entertain people with dances and a show program.
But what is really cool and very colorful is the endless rows of huge white yurts (semi-circular tents), where you can go completely free and enjoy traditional festive treats, which we will discuss later. True to sit there for a long time is not accepted, because there are many who want! Therefore, here is a little lifefack for you - try to try everything that is unfamiliar in appearance and hurry to visit another yurt. Believe me, the local delicacies will definitely please you!
How to have fun on Nauryz?
Again, all unusual and fascinating activities take place on the street. If you meet horses that are free to roam around the avenue in cloth with a national ornament, then you can definitely ride and take a picture of them, imagining you are a nomad. From a distance, the enormous swing “altybakan”, a favorite entertainment of young people, will be noticeable. They often ride together or even the whole company to make it more fun.
For tens of meters stretch the shelves and tents, where they sell all kinds of cute things, from carved wooden utensils with national ornament, to handmade silver jewelry. Quite often, very spectacular demonstrations of Kazakh athletes and wrestlers are organized, demonstrating their strength and skills in the national form of the fight Kazaksha kures. By the way, anyone can take part and try your luck ..
What you need to try?
If you have relatives with Turkic roots, then you are lucky - there is nothing better than a family-style dastarkhan (served with traditional dishes) laid with love. But even if they are not there - don’t worry, we have a few life packs for you, how to get to the real Kazakh feast.
The first, and perhaps the easiest option - to make this request to the local tour operator, who can easily arrange for you anything, including dastarkhan in the real yurt itself.
The second option is to go to ethnoaul. There you can fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the nomadic people, starting with an introduction to the characteristics of everyday life and ending with traditional dishes.
Well, the third option - welcome to cafes and restaurants of Kazakh cuisine, taste national delights. Here you will be beshbarmak, and nauryz kozhe, and baursaks, and shelpeks, and if you're lucky, even kazy or traditional sweets. Never heard of such dishes? Well, it is enough to try once to remember them for a lifetime.
Beshbarmak is a favorite meat dish of the peoples of Asia (in different countries it may have a different name, but the essence is the same), consisting of noodles, kepes, tender cooked meat and rich broth with onions.
National Kazakh dish - Beshbarmak prepared with meat and pasta on the rustic wooden table
Kazy is a long and thick horse meat sausage that is served hot. The slightly specific taste of the meat is favorably complemented by spices, which makes this dish a real delicacy.
Baursaks - round buns fried in butter, slightly crispy and very soft inside, and shelpeks - traditional flat cakes.
And finally, the most important dish that you definitely need to try on this holiday is nauryz kozhe. It is prepared strictly from seven ingredients, this is even attached to the sacred value. Most often, the composition of nauryz-kozhe looks like this: meat, salt, fat, onion, wheat, kurt (pieces of dried salty cottage cheese) and irimshik (soft cottage cheese). The taste is very specific, but at the same time quite fresh, with salty and creamy notes. It is believed that if you try Nauryz Kozhe in seven different houses, then the whole year will pass in abundance and prosperity.
Kazakh cuisine is really amazing – it doesn’t have a large number of sauces that can change and improve any dish and neither has many spices; its charm is in the purity of the flavors, variety of cooking methods and amazing combinations of tastes.
In Kazakhstan, absolutely everything amazes and delights: it is so huge that the endless steppe, the mountains, propping up their snowy peaks in the clouds, the deep canyons with caves, the lifeless desert, where you can hear only a quiet whisper of sand, all perfectly coexist with each other.
Kazakhstan is an amazing country of nomads, eternal wanderers, reincarnated into a modern powerful state, with a stable developing economy and a confident future, but at the same time retaining the charm of antiquity and a unique identity. You should definitely come here to feel its powerful energy, immerse yourself in a journey through historical places and just enjoy your vacation in one of the most beautiful countries in the world!