Holidays in Kazakhstan

Public Holidays in Kazakhstan in 2021

Date Holiday
January 1-2, Fri-Sat New Year
January 7, Thu Orthodox Christmas
March 8, Mon International Women’s Day
March 21-23, Sun-Mon Nauryz
May 1, Sat Unity Day
May 7, Fri Defender of the Fatherland Day
Date Holiday
May 9, Sun Victory Day
July 6, Tue Capital City Day
July 21, Wed Eid al-Adha
August 30, Mon Constitution Day
December 1, Wed Day of the First President of Kazakhstan
December 16-17, Thu-Fri Independence Day
Date Holiday
January 1-2, Fri-Sat New Year
January 7, Thu Orthodox Christmas
March 8, Mon International Women’s Day
March 21-23, Sun-Mon Nauryz
May 1, Sat Unity Day
May 7, Fri Defender of the Fatherland Day
May 9, Sun Victory Day
July 6, Tue Capital City Day
July 21, Wed Eid al-Adha
August 30, Mon Constitution Day
December 1, Wed Day of the First President of Kazakhstan
December 16-17, Thu-Fri Independence Day

Public Holidays in Kazakhstan in 2022

Date Holiday
January 1-2, Sat-Sun New Year
January 7, Fri Orthodox Christmas
March 8, Tue International Women’s Day
March 21-23, Mon-Tue Nauryz
May 1, Sun Unity Day
May 7, Sat Defender of the Fatherland Day
Date Holiday
May 9, Mon Victory Day
July 6, Wed Capital City Day
To be announced Eid al-Adha
August 30, Tue Constitution Day
December 1, Thu Day of the First President of Kazakhstan
December 16-17, Fri-Sat Independence Day
Date Holiday
January 1-2, Sat-Sun New Year
January 7, Fri Orthodox Christmas
March 8, Tue International Women’s Day
March 21-23, Mon-Tue Nauryz
May 1, Sun Unity Day
May 7, Sat Defender of the Fatherland Day
May 9, Mon Victory Day
July 6, Wed Capital City Day
To be announced Eid al-Adha
August 30, Tue Constitution Day
December 1, Thu Day of the First President of Kazakhstan
December 16-17, Fri-Sat Independence Day

Kazakhstan, the ninth largest country in the world, embraces many nationalities who have contributed to the evolution of the nation’s public holidays. Below we have listed the major Kazakhstan holidays of 2021, each of which is likely to invoke in visitors the tourism slogan of Kazakhstan - “Very Nice!”

January 1-2, New Year

Kazakhstan began celebrating the New Year in accordance with European traditions while under Russian rule in the mid-19th century, and today it is one of the country’s most beloved holidays.

In Kazakhstan, the heroes of New Year are Ayaz Ata (Santa Claus) and his granddaughter Qar Qiz (Snow Girl). Together they deliver bags of gifts and plenty of cheer to homes and schoolrooms across the country. Long after children grow into adults, the magic created for them by parents and relatives over the New Year remains etched in their minds as they recreate a festive atmosphere for the next generation.

At midnight on December 31st, people welcome the New Year with exuberant words of congratulations accompanied by ample fireworks, heartfelt toasts and mouthwatering feasts shared with family and friends. Although traditionally a family holiday, some residents of Kazakhstan’s larger cities now prefer to spend New Year's Eve at special events held in many restaurants and bars. Read more...

January 7, Orthodox Christmas

Along with the entire Orthodox Christian world, Orthodox residents of Kazakhstan celebrate Christmas on January 7th. Church bells chime and festive liturgies are recited in Orthodox churches across the country. The main service is held in Assumption Cathedral in capital city Nur-Sultan, the largest Orthodox church in Central Asia which can accommodate up to four thousand persons. After the service, it is customary for believers to visit relatives and friends, congratulating each other with gifts, sweets and special Christmas presents for children.

In 2005, Orthodox Christmas was declared an official holiday in Kazakhstan, and today the holiday is observed by many people in the country regardless of their religion or ethnicity.

March 8, International Women’s Day

International Women's Day, now celebrated in many countries throughout the world, has long been counted among the major national holidays in Kazakhstan. Its history dates back to 1908 when more than fifteen thousand women gathered in the streets of New York to fight for their equality and demand shorter working hours, better paying conditions and the dismissal of child labor. Two years later, at an international conference in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin established an international day on which women could unite to draw attention to their plight through rallies, processions and demonstrations.

In Kazakhstan, March 8 became a non-working holiday in 1966. On the eve of the holiday, the head of state honours mothers with multiple children and other successful women with state awards. Men give flowers and gifts to the women in their lives in a show of respect and admiration, and events which celebrate women and their unique role in society are held at schools, businesses and public venues. Read more...

March 21-23, Nauryz

Nauryz (Navruz), the holiday of the spring equinox, is observed in Kazakhstan and many other eastern nations as a symbol of spring, new beginnings, prosperity and unity.

The history of the holiday has its roots in the pagan rituals of the pre-Islamic period. In former times, Nauryz was called the "Great Day of the Ulus (Nation)" and it was believed that the more elaborate the celebration, the more prosperous the coming year would be.

Nauryz remains one of the most important national holidays of Kazakhstan, where Kazakhs celebrate in their own unique way as they seek to preserve as many traditions passed down from their ancestors as possible. It is believed that on the eve of the holiday all debts should be paid, quarreling should cease and the whole house be put in order.

Each family prepares a special feast, or dastarkhan. The main dish is navruz-kozhe, a rich soup traditionally made from 7 ingredients - milk, meat, butter, millet, rice, raisins and corn. Although the precise ingredients may vary (one can add cottage cheese instead of rice, for example), the number of ingredients used in the dish must always be 7, the number of luck and prosperity considered essential for the Navruz celebration. In ancient times navruz-kozhe was poured into seven bowls to feed 7 persons. It was important to invite 7 guests to your home on this day and for each person to visit 7 houses in turn.

Today Nauryz reflects the implementation of centuries-old folk traditions with modern culture. People celebrate with concerts and theatrical performances, a variety of tasty national dishes, traditional sports and games and lively intellectual battles of the akyns, or Kazakh folk poets. Read more...

May 1, Unity Day

Kazakhstan People’s Unity Day was established in 1996, replacing the International Day of Workers that was celebrated during the Soviet era. Representatives of more than 150 nationalities have lived in Kazakhstan for many centuries, and on this day the people of Kazakhstan celebrate “Unity in Diversity”, one of the main principles espoused in the country. Various concerts, festivals and sports competitions are held in every city across the nation. Museums, theaters and libraries offer performances and exhibitions, demonstrating the equal respect shown toward each ethnic group in the country. Read more...

May 7, Defender of the Fatherland Day

On May 7, 1992, a decree was signed to create the National Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and in 2012 the day was declared a national holiday. On this day, the people of Kazakhstan pay tribute to their veterans, who are presented with awards and honorary military titles by the authorities. Open-air concerts are typically held at city squares, along with military parades and demonstrations of elaborate military exercises.

May 9, Victory Day

The Allied defeat of Nazi Germany is celebrated in Kazakhstan on May 9 in touching displays of respect and honor toward those who lost their lives in World War II. More than a million soldiers from Kazakhstan fought in the ranks of the Soviet army during the war, with more than a hundred thousand Kazakhstanis awarded for their courage and heroic acts.

Massive celebrations are organized in the country on this day, including military parades and the Immortal Regiment March comprised of a grand procession of the war heroes’ grateful descendants. "Garlands of Glory" are placed at the graves of the deceased and at the monument of Otan Korkaushylar (Defenders of the Fatherland) in capital city Nur-Sultan. Festive concerts and gatherings are organized for the war veterans in a show of gratitude for their deeds. Read more...

July 6, Capital City Day

The city of Almaty served as the first capital of Kazakhstan until July 6, 1994, when it was moved for strategic purposes to the central city of Akmola. In 1998, its name was changed to Astana, and in 2019 the city was renamed Nur-Sultan, in honor of the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose birthday is also July 6. The word nur translates as "ray" or "radiance", while sultan means "power" or "authority". Thus, the capital of Kazakhstan acquired a very symbolic name.

Capital City Day is celebrated on a grand scale, particularly in Nur-Sultan itself, where fireworks, concerts, theatrical performances, children’s events and city exhibitions may be enjoyed by residents and visitors. Read more...

Date varies, Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha is the culmination of Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and is celebrated on the 10th day of the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. One of the most important significant religious holidays in Kazakhstan, it celebrates the joy of life and wellbeing while encouraging everyone to reach out to their neighbors. A key element of the holiday is the sacrifice of a cow, ram or camel, whose meat is then distributed to those in need. Charitable funds for the poor are likewise organized in the mosques.

In Kazakhstan, Eid al-Adha traditionally begins with the morning prayer, known as ait-namaz. During the day, people visit friends and family members, exchange gifts and treats and participate in celebrations and charity events. Festivals are held throughout the country which unite not only Muslims but local people of other faiths.

August 30, Constitution Day

Constitution Day in Kazakhstan recognizes the basic principles of the state, which were approved at a national referendum on August 30, 1995. According to the first article of the Constitution, Kazakhstan asserts itself as a democratic, secular and legal state whose highest values are the life and basic human rights of the individual.

The capital offers residents and guests an array of festive programs. Kazakh and foreign pop star concerts are held in open-air and enclosed venues. At a sports festival held on the city square, everyone can take part in tug-of-war, streetball, mini-football, the ancient nomadic game of asyk atu and other competitions. In city parks, entertainment programs for children are organized, and in the evening colorful fireworks illuminate the city. Read more...

December 1, Day of the First President of Kazakhstan

The Day of the First President of Kazakhstan was added to the list of public holidays in 2011. The date marks the election of Nursultan Nazarbayev as the head of the independent republic on December 1, 1991, the first democratic elections in the country's history.

The holiday recognizes the achievements of the first president and aims to strengthen peace and harmony in the country. On this day, cultural events are held throughout Kazakhstan and festive fireworks organized in the evening in honor of Nazarbayev. Significant national events are also often connected to the holiday, such as the issuance of a new banknote or the establishment of a new monument.

December 16-17, Independence Day

On December 16, 1991, a new era began in the history of Kazakhstan when the country declared its independence from the Soviet Union. Kazakhstanis celebrate this holiday, counted among the most important public holidays in Kazakhstan, with gusto. On the eve of the holiday, distinguished cultural and political figures are awarded with honors. Top state officials participate in concerts and festivals held throughout the republic, with the holiday ending in a huge display of fireworks.

New Year People meet the New Year at midnight on 31st of December with a feast, surrounded by friends and family.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Orthodox Christmas During the Christmas celebration the bells are ringing in the churches, believers congratulate each other with gifts and sweets.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
International Women's Day International Women's Day is celebrated in Kazakhstan, like many other countries, on March 8.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Nauryz Nauryz in Kazakhstan symbolizes fertility, friendship and love.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Day of Unity People's Unity Day is a holiday of unity of all peoples who live in the territory of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Defender of the Fatherland On this day, Kazakhstanis pay tribute to the defenders of their homeland.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Victory Day People of Kazakhstan pay a great attention to this holiday since this date symbolizes the protection of the Motherland and people from enemies.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Capital Day On 18 July 2008 Kazakhstan announced the 6th of July as a national holiday of Capital City Day.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Eid al-Adha Eid al-Adha holiday is the culmination of Hajj (an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca), celebrated on the 10th day of the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Constitution Day Constitution Day of the Republic of Kazakhstan is one of the official holidays celebrated in Kazakhstan on 30 August.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Day of the First President of Kazakhstan The date marks the election of Nursultan Nazarbayev as the head of the independent Republic on December 1, 1991 at the first democratic elections in the country's history.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Independence Day On December 16, 1991, a new era began in the history of Kazakhstan. The country declared its independence from the former Soviet Union.
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan