New Year is one of the most favourite holidays all over the world. And it’s so great we can celebrate it more than once! The 21st of March is traditionally celebrated as the beginning of the New Year in Uzbekistan as well as in Western and Central Asia, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans and the Caucasus.
Navruz is the most ancient national holiday of Uzbekistan and marks the day of the vernal equinox and symbolises the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s why it can be celebrated on the 20th, 21st or 22nd of March, depending on the country where the vernal equinox is observed.
If you plan to visit Uzbekistan or other Central Asia countries, make sure to do it on these days! Your experience will be full of cultural experience, better understanding of the country and its customs and unique atmosphere.
I was born in Uzbekistan and remember this holiday as a wide festive all over the country. At school, we all had to prepare different performances and dances in traditional dresses, learn some poems and songs by heart. Everything was already in blossom, hot sun was shining brightly and everyone got a day off to spend this time with friends and families.
As it is a New Year celebration, the tables should be full of food to attract prosperity to the house.Uzbek people usually prepare a lot of traditional dishes for Navruz. One of them, Sumalyak, they start preparing 2 weeks in advance. They take selected wheat, soak it in water for 3 days, after they pour out the water, put the wheat on a piece of plywood, cover with gauze and spray with water every morning during 12 days. After the seeds came up, they mince it, wash and put on a porcelain plate. The wheat water is put in a caldron with cotton oil, where they carefully add the wheat paste. For more flavour, they put dried apricot 15-20 nuts. This dish contains a lot of vitamins and is very nutritious. The cooking process of Sumalyak is a special family time, when all the family members gather together and pray to Allah, being grateful for a peaceful sky above their heads. After they all dance and sing traditional Uzbek songs.
Navruz holiday is a day of forgiveness and help for weak people. The day full of new expectations and hopes for the coming year.