ASTANA – Along with the rest of the world observing the Gregorian calendar, the people in Kazakhstan are getting ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve, buying gifts and finding places to gather with friends and family. According to the Oriental calendar, popular among citizens of the country, 2013 will be the year of the dark water snake.
New Year performances and parties for children and parents have been taking place in Astana, Almaty and around the country. Fairy tale characters are visiting schools and telling stories around New Year trees.
The people across Kazakhstan, of course, have a variety of plans for celebrating the New Year. Most will be with family and friends, some at clubs or restaurants, under a public New Year tree, at ski resorts or even abroad in warmer climates.
According to travel agencies, people have chosen a wide range of places to celebrate the New Year holiday. But overwhelmingly, people would like to spend holidays in Kazakhstan ten times more than going abroad. Travelers within Kazakhstan are generally interested in large cities and resort zones such as Burabay (Borovoy) in the Akmola region, Karkaralinsk in the Karaganda region and Issyk-Kul in the neighbouring Kyrgyzstan. Among the list of destinations abroad, Russia, China, the United Arab Emirates and Thailand were the most popular places to visit. Travel agencies have been advising customers to decide their destinations as early as possible, as according to their forecasts after December 15 it would be difficult to find tickets to those countries.
While some of the famous Kazakhstan’s artists will greet the New Year with their families, others use the holiday as a chance to earn some extra money. Many artists have had a busy schedule throughout December due to corporate events and filming Christmas holiday programmes. Butin January,after the holidays, many artists take vacations, especially to relax somewhere warm.
This year, the average price of products in the New Year basket amounted to 21,236 tenge. When the list of goods for the New Year table was being made, the main task was to include all the most popular brands of each product available at the majority of retail outlets across Kazakhstan. A study showed that the total cost of the New Year basket in the largest supermarkets differs only slightly. The total trading range in five leading supermarkets was about 1,300 tenge (about 6 percent).
The days before New Year’s Eve are a busy season for restaurants, since during that period guests are preparing for office parties and New Year’s Eve parties. Based on the experience of past years, experts predict that during the last month of the year, the number of restaurant visits increases by 30 to 50 percent.