New Approach to Nauryz Celebrations in Kazakhstan Bolsters National Identity

ASTANA Nauryz celebrations in Kazakhstan serve as a cornerstone for strengthening the national identity. On this festive occasion, the Kazakh government puts forward new initiatives aimed to foster societal cohesion and bolster unity.

Kazakh girl in traditional attire. Photo credit:

Nauryz in Kazakhstan is a state holiday celebrated within three days, according to the country’s law on holidays.  

This year, without introducing any amendments to legislation, the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Information implemented a new format of the Nauryz celebration – the Nauryznama decade. Tulips became the primary symbol of Nauryz in 2024. The logo, which was approved by the ministry, was sent to all regions nationwide.

President Tokayev during an interview with Egemen Qazaqstan. Photo credit: Akorda.


Each day of the Nauryznama decade represents a specific celebration that embodies the cherished values of the Kazakh people. The festivities kicked off on March 14 with the Korisu (Greetings) Day and will end with Tazaru (Cleansing) Day on March 23. 

The word “Nauryznama” was mentioned by renowned writers and philosophers in their works, particularly by Mahmud al-Kashgari, Mashkhur Zhusup Kopeiuly, Abai Kunanbaiuly, and Mukhtar Auezov. Historically, the festivities lasted up to nine days.

In his interview with the Egemen Qazaqstan newspaper in January this year, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said “it is important to remember that Kazakhstan has its own New Year Nauryz.” He emphasized that the holiday should be celebrated in a new way.

“Nauryz symbolizes renewal, and celebrating it should also be approached in a new way with substance, creativity, and the incorporation of new distinctive elements,” said Tokayev. 

The age-old Eastern celebration, also known as Navruz, Novruz, and Nowruz in other countries, marks the advent of spring and the commencement of a new year in accordance with the solar calendar. 

“It has become customary that during these days, we reflect on certain outcomes and make plans for the future,” said Tokayev. He also shared his personal reflections on New Year, saying it doesn’t represent for him a “sacred significance.”

During the third meeting of the National Kurultai (Congress) on March 15, Tokayev gave additional explanations on both state holidays. 

“In an interview with the Egemen Qazaqstan newspaper, I spoke about the need for a fresh approach to celebrating Nauryz. Just recently, we adopted a special concept [the Nauryznama decade]. Certainly, this in no way implies abandoning the celebration of the New Year, which we will continue to celebrate along with the global community,” he said.

“Meanwhile, we will enhance the significance of the Nauryz holiday and substantially enrich its content,” added Tokayev. 

As part of his speech, the head of state also emphasized the crucial task of strengthening national identity by promoting national clothes.  

In Kazakhstan, it is customary to organize festive activities, dress up in traditional attire, and play folk games. The Kazakh government, business circles, and academia come up with their own ideas aimed to promote cultural heritage. The Kazakh capital has curated a diverse array of events for Nauryz, organized with a contemporary perspective.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!