New Year in Turkmenistan
December 31 – January 1
Although New Year in Turkmenistan was traditionally observed on March 21, it has also been celebrated in the country on January 1st since Soviet times. Preparations for New Year’s Day begin well in advance: the main city squares are beautifully decorated, and Ashgabat in particular sparkles under a cloak of colorful, festive décor. Seasonal carnivals offering an array of holiday gifts and activities are organized in the cities, and some of the country’s most jubilant festivals are held this time of year.
On special occasions and holidays in Turkmenistan, the people have a tradition of exchanging practical gifts with family and friends. New Year is no exception, and relatives and friends will usually discuss in advance what gift they will present to their loved ones.
On December 31, festivities are held in seemingly every plaza and park in Turkmenistan. Singers, dancers and artists gather to showcase their talents and create a fun atmosphere for young and old alike. The New Year in Turkmenistan is usually welcomed at home in a family setting, as the few restaurants which are open on New Year's Eve close by 11 pm.