Navruz Holiday in Turkmenistan
The Navruz holiday in Turkmenistan (also spelled Nauryz or Nowruz) is a national holiday which symbolizes the awakening of new life and the return of warmth after a long, cold winter. This holiday has been celebrated among the peoples of Central Asia since ancient times and continues to unite them in a common cultural heritage. With the support of 24 nations, the Navruz holiday was included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage Sites in 2009.
The Navruz holiday in Turkmenistan lasts for two days, and although typically celebrated with family around a lavishly laid table, it is also common for neighbors and relatives to visit one another and to exchange sweet treats and national dishes. Navruz traditionally marks the beginning of the agricultural season, and thus it is customary to serve foods made from wheat, including baked goods, halva and wheat porridge. The main Navruz dish in Turkmenistan is the rich and filling semene, made from boiled wheat germ.
Every year, a trees-planting ceremony held before Navruz is attended by the head of state, representatives of the diplomatic corps and special guests. Large-scale festivities take place in every region of the country and are held, according to an age-old tradition, in a picturesque, open-air space. Visitors to Turkmenistan will be able to experience the festive mood of Navruz at these gatherings as they gain a feel for national customs.