Azerbaijan’s traditions cover all the phases of life, from birth to death, plus annual holidays and other general practices. These traditions dictated how to meet guests, join families in marriage, spend free time, and how to present one’s self in society. Even though some traditions have been lost to time, and some are only practiced at large events or during holidays, Azerbaijani traditions are still important to people and their lives.
There are a variety of influences on Azerbaijan’s traditions. Several religions have long histories in Azerbaijan, including Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, both Sunni and Shi’a. Azerbaijan has also been influenced by the many merchants who passed through on the Silk Road, as well as the ever-changing waves of empires and conquerors.
The traditions in Azerbaijan make for an interesting trip, full of unique experiences and impressions of this rich country. Even if you don’t travel during a holiday or attend a celebration, Azerbaijan’s traditions can still be felt when traveling through the country.
Guests are given places of honor in Azerbaijani traditions, and treated with the utmost respect. If you have the chance to meet or stay with a family in Azerbaijan, you’ll definitely be able to experience this for yourself. Hospitality traditions in Azerbaijan go back a long ways, but there are also modern ways that families today welcome guests.
Traditionally, Azerbaijani weddings are a long affair, from matchmaking to courtship, engagement, to wedding. Weddings were an important time, when to families came together, and so there are plenty of rites and ceremonies that were part of traditional weddings. Even modern weddings incorporate Azerbaijani traditions, though they have a modern and international feel.
Novruz (or Nowruz) is the biggest holiday in Azerbaijan, taking up almost a whole month in the spring. If you want to visit and experience the most traditions in Azerbaijan at the same time, Novruz is an excellent time to book your trip. The biggest celebrations are on March 21, the spring equinox, but there are plenty more traditions to learn about and see for yourself.
Beyond celebrations and food, gulesh is another important part of Azerbaijani culture. This type of wrestling includes music and dances, plus important ceremonies before beginning a bout. Gulesh today is one of the more popular traditions in Azerbaijan, with wrestling gyms around the country.
Although most people today wear modern clothing, traditional Azerbaijani clothing can still be seen at festivals and other events. There are a lot of different items of mens and womens clothing, all designed to be comfortable yet flattering. The types of patterns, cloth and colors are all important parts of Azerbaijani traditions, and can tell a lot about the culture and history of the country.
One of the most energetic and vivid parts of traditions in Azerbaijan, dances are created to tell stories, be performed at ceremonies, and impress audiences. Azerbaijani dances are sure to be full of life and energy, and will remain one of the most vivid memories of your time in the country.
Bringing a new life into the world is a big life event, and childbirth in Azerbaijan is no exception. There are plenty of Azerbaijani traditions related to childbirth, especially traditions that are meant to ensure the health and success of the mother and child.