Kyrgyzstan is a diverse country in Central Asia, and its major festivals reflect its wide influences. From Islamic celebrations and Russian Orthodox holidays to festivals of independence and those observing the Soviet Union’s victories, this unique country comes together in merriment, celebrating differences and commemorating history.
March 21 annually
The festival of Nooruz (or Navruz) occurs each year on the vernal equinox to usher in spring. Originating in Persian culture and Zoroastrianism, Nooruz is based on pre-Islamic belief in the sun. Today, people in more than 20 Asian states, including Kyrgyzstan, gather each year to dance, sing and eat in celebration.
May 9 annually
May 9th marks a day of commemoration, victory and respect for the people of Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz people across the nation pay tribute veterans and to the victory of the Soviet Union over Germany in WWII. The veterans are the main guests on this day, which includes performances, a parade and an evening firework show.
Every summer, community-based tourism (CBT) groups across Kyrgyzstan organize various events for tourists as well as locals, highlighting various national and regional attractions, customs and traditions, such as falconry and yurt assembly. For more information, contact the CBT group in the area you are visiting.
The annual International OIMO Festival, occurring in Bishkek each July, is a true celebration of Central Asian culture. Featuring national foods, musical concerts, local film screenings, fashion shows, and a large handicraft fair, the festival welcomes artists, vendors, and presenters from across Central Asia.
August 31 annually
The main state holiday in Kyrgyzstan, Independence Day is celebrated each year on August 31 in recognition of the day the country became an independent state in 1991. The celebration includes a military parade, a national horse games fest, traditional dance shows, concerts and fireworks in Bishkek’s city square.
April 10 2016
Similar to cultures around the world, Kyrgyzstan celebrates Russian Orthodox Easter on the second Sunday of April each year. A spiritual celebration of the Jesus resurrection, this is a day when people often visit church, while also partaking in cultural activities, such as decorating eggs and baking ritual breads.
Called Eid Al-Fitr in the Arab world, the celebration of Orozo-Ait in Kyrgyzstan marks the end of Ramadan, a month-long Islamic religious ceremony involving fasting. On the day of Orozo-Ait, the fast is over, resulting a congregational prayer and celebrations around the country - and a lot of tasty food.
September 24 2015 / September 13 2016
Known as Eid Al-Adha across the Arab world, Kurman-Ait is a Muslim holiday in Kyrgyzstan, occurring on the tenth day of the month of Dhul Hijja. Known as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” this day marks the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca, and is often spent going to mosque before sacrificing a sheep and giving out meat.