Kazakhstan Embraces Love with Kozy Korpesh – Bayan Sulu Day

ASTANA – Kazakhstan celebrates the Day of Lovers on April 15, also called Kozy Korpesh – Bayan Sulu Day, in honor of the iconic Kazakh love epic.

Photo credit: egemen.kz

February may be the time for celebrating Valentine’s Day, but since 2011, Kazakhstan has embraced Kozy Korpesh—Bayan Sulu Day in April as a distinctive alternative enriched with a narrative no less captivating than that of Romeo and Juliet. It is a tragic love story between young man Kozy and beautiful Bayan, whose fathers had agreed to arrange their marriage once they reached adulthood.

The epic unfolds in the vast Kazakh steppe, where two affluent and close friends, Karabai and Sarybai, vow to unite their children in marriage even before their birth. Tragically, Sarybai passes away before his son is born.

As Kozy and Bayan grow up, they inevitably fall deeply in love. However, Bayan’s father, Karabai, changes his mind about marrying his daughter to Kozy and breaks the vow. Instead, he promises his daughter’s hand to the local hero, Kodar, who had once rescued his livestock from famine.

Kodar yearns for Bayan Sulu’s affection, but upon realizing that her heart belongs to Kozy, he kills him.

According to the epic, Bayan avenges Kodar for murdering her true fiancé, Kozy, and then orders the construction of a stone monument in honor of Kozy. The mausoleum, where the two lovers are believed to be buried, is located in the Ayagoz district of the Abai Region and dates back to the 5th and 6th centuries.

To date, the epic about Kozy Korpesh and Bayan Sulu remains a touching portrayal of love and fidelity born in the Kazakh steppe.

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