Discover Nauryz: Cultural Events to Enliven Your Long Weekend

ASTANA — Nauryz, the beloved holiday in Kazakhstan, symbolizes the arrival of spring with open arms, inviting people to immerse themselves in its delights. Kazakh people, as well as other Turkic nations across Central Asia and beyond, celebrate Nauryz, also considered a new year, on March 21-25. The Astana Times has compiled a list of events scheduled for Nauryz and the subsequent weekend, promising a delightful atmosphere and an opportunity to revel in the holiday’s magic.

The solemn Nauryz event at the Astana Square in Almaty. Collage is created by The Astana Times. Photo credit: Akorda

Astana Events

Nauryz holiday on March 21-23  

At the Nauryz Bazaar fair, expect a diverse array of offerings including new clothing lines, intricate jewelry pieces, ceramics, metalwork, felt and silk products, along with ethno-style souvenirs. The event will also feature festive concerts, mass competitions showcasing national sports, opportunities for painting and pottery, and performances with traditional Kazakh instruments. 

Photo credit: Akorda

Expert artisans specializing in jewelry, ceramics, carpet weaving, and folk musical instruments from countries such as Turkiye, Iran, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Kyrgyz Republic will gather in Astana to showcase their crafts and cultural heritage.

Venue: Expo International Exhibition Center; 53/1, Mangilik El Avenue.

Az-Nauryz holiday concert on March 23

Az-Nauryz is a vibrant showcase of Kazakh culture and tradition, featuring a diverse range of performances including folk songs, operatic arias and duets by national composers. With its colorful melodies and celebration of ethnic diversity, the concert promises to uplift spirits and create a joyous atmosphere for all attendees.  

Astana Opera. Photo credit: Astana Opera

Venue: Astana Opera; 1, Dinmukhamed Kunayev Street. Tickets are available here

The Universe of Hans Zimmer on March 24

Experience the grandeur of over 100 orchestra and choir musicians as they perform the iconic music of Hans Zimmer, one of the most renowned film composers of our time. Zimmer’s compositions have left an indelible mark on Hollywood cinema and popular culture at large. 

Prepare to be captivated by a concert program featuring beloved scores from blockbuster films such as “Dune,” “Batman,” “Gladiator,” “Inception,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Lion King,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “Madagascar,” “Pearl Harbor,” “The Last Samurai,” “Man of Steel,” and “Call of Duty.”

Enjoy the colossal live sound of a large symphony orchestra and choir as they accompany video sequences, delivering an unforgettable auditory and visual experience.

Venue: Philharmonic Hall; 32, Kenesary Street. Tickets are available here

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Nauryz kozhe interactive performance on March 21-24

Embark on a journey into the realm of fairy tales at Skazkin House, Kazakhstan’s interactive museum theater. 

Take part in the magical tale of “Nauryz Kozhe,” where children will discover the secrets of preparing the beloved national dish and meet the charming characters of Kazakh folklore.

Venue: Skazkin House; 60/5, Syganak Street. Tickets are available here


The Heritage of the Great Steppe on March 21

The concert, Heritage of the Great Steppe, has become a radiant symbol of the theater’s excellence, garnering recognition on both local and global stages. Aigul Tati, an esteemed artist from Kazakhstan, enchants audiences with the elegance and grace of her dance performances. Her choreography, characterized by a distinctive blend of fluidity, restraint and melodic movements, captivates audiences and stands as a cherished treasure within Kazakh folk choreography.

Venue: Astana Ballet; 9, Uly Dala Avenue. Tickets are available here

David Garrett concert on March 25

David Garrett is a legendary musician who has revolutionized classical music with his pioneering genre of crossover, fusing virtuosic violin performances with contemporary pop music. He stands out as a rare artist, having twice earned the prestigious ECHO Awards in both classical and pop categories. Garrett also holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for his lightning-fast rendition of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee.” Prepare yourself for an unforgettable evening, promising to make your weekend truly unforgettable.

Venue: Astana Ballet; 9, Uly Dala Avenue. Tickets are available here.

The Folk Show on March 23

The Folk Show Orchestra has combined the brightest and most delightful masterpieces of various musical genres, from exhilarating soundtracks of global films to beloved foreign hits, energetic rock anthems and spirited Kazakh kuis (traditional instrumental compositions). Prepare for an unforgettable musical experience, where the orchestra will delight you with the brightest and most delightful compositions from around the world.

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Venue: Saltanat Sarayi; 3, Kabanbai Batyr Avenue. Tickets are available here

Almaty Events

Nauryz Fest on March 23

Nauryz Fest is a fusion of springtime joy and contemporary flair, where the spirit of spring meets a modern neo-ethnic vibe. Immerse yourself in a sea of exciting activities, indulge in traditional dishes at the ethnic-inspired bazaar, and be entertained by captivating music and entertainment shows. Popular Kazakh singers and DJs will perform on stage. With their incredible talent and infectious energy, these artists are sure to light up the stage and keep the crowd dancing all night long. Don’t miss out on this unique celebration of culture and creativity. 

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Venue: Sunkar International Ski Jumping Complex; 128/8, Al-Farabi Avenue. Tickets are available here.

Nauryz at the Almaty Theater on March 21

The Almaty Theater presents the legendary Kazakh National Orchestra of Folk Instruments, featuring Kurmangazy, the first folk orchestra inspired by composer Akhmet Zhubanov. 

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The program will showcase a diverse range of compositions, including Turkesh’s “Konil ashar,” Sugir’s “Bozyngen,” Murat Kusainov’s “Nauryz,” and Nurgisa Tilendiev’s “Ata tolgau.” Experience the soul-stirring melodies of traditional folk songs like “Ahau Kerim” and Shamshi Kaldayakov’s “Akmandailym,” alongside Kurmangazy’s iconic compositions such as “Adai” and “Sary Arka.” Don’t miss this opportunity to be transported by the captivating sounds of Kazakhstan’s musical legacy.

Venue: Almaty Theater, 30, Al-Farabi  Avenue. Tickets are available here

Turkic Phrasebook comedy show on March 24

The Turkic Phrasebook is not just a comedy show, it’s an exploration of the unique traditions of Turkic people. Get ready to celebrate the diversity and commonalities of Turkic cultures in a fun and entertaining way.

Collage is created by The Astana Times. Photo credit: central.standup.almaty

Venue: Almaty Central stand up club; 71, Kabanbay Batyr Street. Tickets are available here

Almaty Dance Fest on March 21-25

The Almaty Dance Fest, an annual event since 2016, brings together youth from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Russia for a celebration of dance. With a focus on promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, the festival aims to engage non-dancing groups of the population and provide a space for professional exchange of experiences.

Photo credit: almatydancefest

Popularizing the dance movement among children and youth aged 7 to 35 is a key objective of the festival. As a special guest, renowned choreographer and teacher from the popular studio 1Million, known for his work with artist Sandara Park, Bale from South Korea, will join the event. Alongside him, talented dancers from Kazakhstan, including Bogdan The Flava and Assiya Nestay, will serve as judges for the show categories.

Venue: 227, Rozybakieva Street. For more detailed information, please visit the link

National Gala Concert on March 24

Experience the enchanting beauty of Kazakh dance at the National Gala concert, dedicated to the joyous holiday of Nauryz. Kazakh choreography is renowned for its vibrant colors and rich history, blending traditional dance elements with classical techniques to create breathtaking ballet performances and captivating concerts. 

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As a delightful surprise, the audience will be treated to a special performance of “Bolero,” choreographed by ballet legend Bulat Ayukhanov, set to the evocative music of French composer Maurice Ravel. Take part in this unforgettable celebration of Kazakh dance and culture at the Nauryz-themed National Gala concert.

Venue: Kazakh State Philharmonic named after Zhambyl; 35, Shamshi Kaldayakov Street. Tickets are available here

Tau Fest on March 21

Get ready to be captivated by the creativity of over 40 local brands from Kazakhstan, each offering unique collections of handmade jewelry, accessories, home decor, and clothing.

Collage is created by The Astana Times. Photo credit: tau_fest

Experience the artistry with masterclasses, tarot and rune readings, and beautiful decor enhancing the ambiance. Groove to the beats of the best DJs, adding warmth and energy to the event.

Venue: The square in front of the Zhurgenov Kazakh National Academy of Arts; 127, Panfilov Street. Tickets are available here

Tamgaly Petroglyphs Tour on March 23

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Explore the remarkable petroglyphs of Tanbaly, carved using stone or metal tools. Divided into 48 complexes, these ancient artworks include a masterpiece featuring six ‘sun-headed’ deities towering over dancing and praying figures. Join an unforgettable tour and uncover the rich history of Central Asian rock art. Wear comfortable attire and shoes.

Venue: 98, Baitursynov Street. Tickets are available here

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