Holidays in Azerbaijan

Public Holidays in Azerbaijan in 2021

Date Holiday
Jan 01, Fri New Year
Jan 20, Wed Martyrs’ Day
Mar 08, Mon Women’s Day
Mar 21, Sun Novruz (Persian New Year)
May 09, Sun Victory Day
May 24-25, Mon-Tue Ramazan Bayrami
Date Holiday
May 28, Fri Republic Day
Jun 15, Tue National Salvation Day
Jun 26, Sat Armed Forces Day
Jul 31-Aug 01, Sat-Sun Gurban Bayrami
Nov 09, Tue Flag Day
Dec 31, Fri Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis
Date Holiday
Jan 01, Fri New Year
Jan 20, Wed Martyrs’ Day
Mar 08, Mon Women’s Day
Mar 21, Sun Novruz (Persian New Year)
May 09, Sun Victory Day
May 24-25, Mon-Tue Ramazan Bayrami
May 28, Fri Republic Day
Jun 15, Tue National Salvation Day
Jun 26, Sat Armed Forces Day
Jul 31-Aug 01, Sat-Sun Gurban Bayrami
Nov 09, Tue Flag Day
Dec 31, Fri Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis

Public Holidays in Azerbaijan in 2022

Date Holiday
Jan 01, Sat New Year
Jan 20, Thu Martyrs’ Day
Mar 08, Tue Women’s Day
Mar 21, Mon Novruz (Persian New Year)
May 09, Mon Victory Day
To be announced Ramazan Bayrami
Date Holiday
May 28, Sat Republic Day
Jun 15, Wed National Salvation Day
Jun 26, Sun Armed Forces Day
To be announced Gurban Bayrami
Nov 09, Wed Flag Day
Dec 31, Sat Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis
Date Holiday
Jan 01, Sat New Year
Jan 20, Thu Martyrs’ Day
Mar 08, Tue Women’s Day
Mar 21, Mon Novruz (Persian New Year)
May 09, Mon Victory Day
To be announced Ramazan Bayrami
May 28, Sat Republic Day
Jun 15, Wed National Salvation Day
Jun 26, Sun Armed Forces Day
To be announced Gurban Bayrami
Nov 09, Wed Flag Day
Dec 31, Sat Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis

Azerbaijan is the only Muslim country in the South Caucasus, and consequentially its culture and customs vary widely from Christian Georgia and Armenia. This difference is also visible in their respective festivities and observed public holidays. In Azerbaijan, for example, Muslims celebrate both Ramadan and Novruz, but not Christmas or Easter. Most celebrations in Azerbaijan are loud, colorful and cheerful, yet there are also somber observances that recall the deep scars left on the country during the 20th century.

Azerbaijanis love their festivals and make every effort to celebrate to the fullest, so if a holiday coincides with a day off, the nearest working day is usually declared a national holiday, as well.

This hospitable nation is always happy to welcome guests into their celebrations, so if possible, arrange your visit to Azerbaijan during one of their holidays. If you are unsure which celebration is right for you, scroll down to explore our list of public and school holidays in Azerbaijan.

January 01, New Year

New Year is one of Azerbaijan’s most popular holidays, a joyous time celebrated with relatives and friends. During preparations for the festivities, Azerbaijanis decorate their homes with an evergreen tree referred to as a New Year tree, a tradition which came to Azerbaijan from Russia. The celebration starts on the evening of December 31 with a splendid feast. Children receive gifts from Shakhta Baba (Father Frost) and Karkyz (Snow Maiden). Once the clock strikes midnight, spectacular firework shows erupt all throughout the country, with the best ones taking place at Baku Boulevard in the capital. The following day is a non-working day that people use to either recuperate from their midnight celebrations or to continue the party. Occasionally, the government grants an extra day or two for further celebrations. Read more...

January 20, Martyrs' Day (Day of Nationwide Sorrow)

Martyrs’ Day pays homage to the victims of the so-called "Black January" or "Black Saturday." The origins of the somber commemoration lie in the decision of the Soviet Union leadership to dispatch the army to handle civil unrest that broke out in Azerbaijan in January 1990. Soviet troops entered Baku late at night on January 19 and, for three days, attacked civil protesters. According to some reports, over 130 civilians died and up to 800 were injured.

Once Azerbaijan obtained independence from the USSR, January 20 became a public holiday. In 2010, the government erected a memorial for the Black January victims in the Yasamal district of Baku. Since then, every year a large, solemn procession heads to the monument to lay flowers and pay tribute to the victims. Read more...

March 8, Women's Day

Azerbaijan marks March 8 as a day dedicated to women's rights and achievements. Usually, men gift presents and flowers to their mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and female friends. It is also not uncommon for them to organize an elegant dinner for their female relatives or friends, or to take responsibility for household chores on this day. Read more...

March 21, Novruz

This festival celebrates the Lunar New Year, which according to Persian tradition marks the arrival of spring. Similar festivities can be traced back to the Sumerians and Babylonians. Novruz is the most important annual celebration in Azerbaijan. Read more...

May 9, Victory Day

Victory Day commemorates the triumph of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany and fascism. It is an important holiday in most post-soviet republics, and Azerbaijan is no exception. Roughly 600,000-800,000 Azerbaijani soldiers, or approximately one-fifth of the entire population of Soviet Azerbaijan, fought in World War II.

Initially after regaining independence, local authorities removed May 9 from the Azerbaijan calendar, yet it was restored in 1994 and has been celebrated ever since. The holiday now focuses on honoring the surviving war veterans. Flowers are laid at WWII memorial sites and occasionally a military parade is also held. The day finishes with spectacular fireworks shows across the country. Read more...

Dates vary, Ramazan Bayrami

Ramazan Bayrami, also known by its Arabic name of Eid al-Fitr, is a significant religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide. The holiday marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, and first took place in 624 CE after the Prophet Muhammad and his followers won the battle of Jang-e-Badar.

The date of Ramazan Bayrami is based on the lunar calendar and thus changes each year. It can also slightly differ depending on the part of the world in which its observers live. The festival starts after sunset on the last day of Ramadan and continues until the evening of the following day. Two days off of work are officially granted to celebrate these ‘Ramdadan holidays’ in Azerbaijan.

During Ramazan Bayrami, people gather in mosques to pray and to listen to the imams’ sermons, in which they beseech God for worldwide peace, mercy and forgiveness. Families and friends come together to feast, and young children receive small gifts, sweets and money from their relatives. It is obligatory to donate a monetary donation to the poor so that they may also celebrate, with the size of this gift based on the wealth of each family.

On Ramazan Bayrami, Azerbaijanis greet each other by saying, "Ramazan Bayraminiz Mubarak" (May your holiday be blessed). It is also common to say "Eid Mubarak" or "Eid Saeed" (Have a blessed Eid).

May 28, Republic Day

Republic Day commemorates the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic on May 28, 1918. The Republic was the first secular democratic country in the Islamic World and was also the first majority Muslim state to grant women the right to vote.

Unfortunately, the Republic lasted only twenty-three months. On April 28, 1920, the Red Army invaded the country and the young state lost its independence for the next seventy years.

Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan proclaimed its sovereignty once again. May 28 was then established as Azerbaijan Republic Day, a national holiday for paying homage to the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

Today on May 28, Azerbaijan’s highest officials lay a wreath at the Republic Monument in Baku. Concerts and parades celebrating Azerbaijan's history and culture are held across the country, and many schools use the holiday to educate children and youth about Azerbaijan's history. Read more...

June 15, National Salvation Day

National Salvation Day celebrates the 1993 return of the country's long-time leader, Heydar Aliyev, from Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic to Baku.

Heydar Aliyev was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan. He led the country until 1982, when he was appointed to the post of First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Although Aliyev fell from grace in 1987, he remained engaged in politics. In 1991, he began to govern his native Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, where he remained in power even after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, the newly independent Azerbaijan struggled with political instability, and by the spring of 1993, the country found itself on the verge of civil war. It was at this crucial time that Azerbaijanis demanded Aliyev's return as state leader. The then-president of Azerbaijan, Abulfaz Elchibay, invited Aliyev to return to Baku. On June 15, 1993, Aliyev became the chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and on June 24, he temporarily assumed the position of President. Following a nationwide election, Aliyev officially became the president of Azerbaijan in October 1993 and ruled the country for the next ten years.

National Salvation Day became a state holiday in 1997, and the first celebrations took place a year later. Most Azerbaijanis celebrate the holiday privately with friends and relatives. The day features a military parade in Baku, presided over by the President, and an evening fireworks show. Read more...

June 26, Armed Forces Day

In May 1918, Azerbaijan became an independent country in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. On June 26, the Muslim Corps, a military unit established in 1917 to protect the Azerbaijanis from the aggression of Russian soldiers, changed its name to the Detached Corps of Azerbaijan, an event which marked the birth of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. In 1920, when the Red Army took control of Azerbaijan, the Soviet military absorbed this unit. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the national army was re-established and in 1998, June 26 became a national holiday in Azerbaijan dedicated to the country’s Armed Forces. Azerbaijanis celebrate Armed Forces Day with a massive military parade in Baku and a magnificent air show. Concerts, galas and other cultural events dedicated to the armed forces are held across the country. People also leave flowers at monuments dedicated to fallen Azerbaijani soldiers. Read more...

Dates vary, Gurban Bayrami (Feast of Sacrifice)

Gurban Bayrami (Feast of Sacrifice), also known as Eid al-Adha or Eid Qurban, is an Islamic holiday celebrated worldwide. The festival honors the readiness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. Upon seeing Ibrahim's willingness, God spared his son and provided a ram as a sacrifice in place of the boy.

Because of the difference between the Islamic lunar calendar and the globally recognized Gregorian calendar, the date of the holiday changes every year. Traditionally, Gurban Bayrami lasts for three consecutive days. In Azerbaijan, two of those three days are state holidays.

Eid al-Adha centers around the sacrifice of an animal, typically a sheep. The owner should divide the meat into three parts - one for his family, one for the poor and one for his relatives, friends and neighbors.

During the holiday, Muslims gather in mosques for a special prayer, which takes place after the sun has fully risen but before it reaches its zenith. Once the prayer is over, people exchange holiday greetings and gifts, visit neighbors and relatives and enjoy a daylong feast.

November 9, National Flag Day

On November 9, 1918, Azerbaijan adopted its first unified, tricolor flag, which had been a part of the Coat of Arms of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. The flag flew until 1920, when Azerbaijan was absorbed into the Soviet Union. In 1991, after Azerbaijan regained its independence, the new government restored the flag.

In 2009, the government declared November 9 to be National Flag Day. A year later, National Flag Square was officially opened in Baku. Since then, each November 9 sees Azerbaijanis gathering at the square to watch a flag-hoisting ceremony. The flagpole standing on the square measures 162 meters and is the 3rd highest flagpole in the world. Since June 2019, the square has been closed for renovation.

December 31, Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis

One of the more unique Azerbaijan national holidays, Solidarity Day commemorates the December 1989 dismantling of the border fence between Soviet Azerbaijan and Iran and the subsequent reunification of Azerbaijanis living on both sides. At that time, roughly 8 million Azerbaijanis lived in Iran, compared to 6.8 million living in Soviet Azerbaijan.

The commemoration became a national holiday in 1992 and for Azerbaijanis, it is an important reminder of their cultural and political unity. Solidarity Day is popularly celebrated with cultural events and feasts held in Azerbaijan and among Azerbaijani diasporas worldwide. Read more...

Celebrating one of the public holidays in Azerbaijan is a unique and fantastic way to experience the country and its culture to the fullest!

New Year New Year is one of Azerbaijan’s most popular holidays, a joyous time celebrated with relatives and friends.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Martyrs' Day Martyrs’ Day pays homage to the victims of the so-called "Black January" or "Black Saturday."
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Women's Day Azerbaijan marks March 8 as a day dedicated to women's rights and achievements. Usually, men gift presents and flowers to their mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and female friends.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Novruz This festival celebrates the Lunar New Year, which according to Persian tradition marks the arrival of spring.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Victory Day Victory Day commemorates the triumph of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany and fascism. It is an important holiday in most post-soviet republics, and Azerbaijan is no exception.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Ramazan Bayrami Ramazan Bayrami, also known by its Arabic name of Eid al-Fitr, is a significant religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide. The holiday marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, and first took place in 624 CE after the Prophet Muhammad and his followers won the battle of Jang-e-Badar.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Republic Day Republic Day commemorates the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic on May 28, 1918.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
National Salvation Day National Salvation Day celebrates the 1993 return of the country's long-time leader, Heydar Aliyev, from Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic to Baku.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Armed Forces Day Azerbaijanis celebrate Armed Forces Day with a massive military parade in Baku and a magnificent air show. Concerts, galas and other cultural events dedicated to the armed forces are held across the country.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Gurban Bayrami Gurban Bayrami (Feast of Sacrifice), also known as Eid al-Adha or Eid Qurban, is an Islamic holiday celebrated worldwide.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
National Flag Day In 2009, the government declared November 9 to be National Flag Day. A year later, National Flag Square was officially opened in Baku.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis One of the more unique Azerbaijan national holidays, Solidarity Day commemorates the December 1989 dismantling of the border fence between Soviet Azerbaijan and Iran and the subsequent reunification of Azerbaijanis living on both sides.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan