Culture of Kazakhstan


One of the basic human needs and one of the major communication tools is language.

The state language of the Republic of Kazakhstan is Kazakh. The state language is language used in public management, legislation, legal proceedings and paperwork management operating in all the field of public relations throughout the country. Our country is a multinational state and language policy in Kazakhstan has always been aimed at preserving variety and peaceful coexistence of various languages and their natives on the territory of the country. Each language in the country is a national heritage.

Training at schools is conducted in Kazakh, Russian and English. This boosts communicative skills among pupils. Moreover, training in three languages will introduce children to culture and traditions of other nations. 

Each citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan has a right for free choice of language for communication, training and creativity.    The government creates conditions for learning and developing of languages of the people of Kazakhstan. Impairment of rights related to language use is prohibited in the Republic of Kazakhstan.  

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Today, the Republic of Kazakhstan is a developed and flourishing country with up-to-date constitution and legal provisions. Along with the laws, the Kazakh nation honours and observes its traditions. The traditions of Kazakh people trace their origin back to the customs of nomadic tribes.

One of the fundamental traditions of Kazakh people, which became a national character trait, is hospitality. Hospitality in Kazakh society is a primary duty and entails reception of guests with open heart and welcoming embrace.  A guest is the most important and desirable person at a house. It is customary to provide a guest with the most delicious food and do everything to make a guest feel in safety and comfort.  

“Konakasy” is a hospitality tradition related to food for guests. 

“Bata beru is a blessing given when a guest is leaving, especially for a long journey. A blessing is given by elderly people. Usually, the tradition is expressed poetically. 

“Bel koterer” is food for the elderly guests, which symbolizes care and respect towards the elderly.

“Konakkade” is a tradition when a host asks a guest to sign a song or play a musical instrument.  

“Yerulik” is a celebration devoted to new settlers, when assistance is provided to them and acquaintance with other settlers takes place to ensure adaptation to local life.    

“Korimdik” is a gift given by a guest seeing a young married woman or newborn baby for the first time.

“Suinshi” is a custom according to which a person bringing good news to a house gets a valuable gift from hosts.

“Shashu” is a custom to shower guests with candies and money. Usually, children happily gather candies.     From the dawn of time, the Kazakh people believed that candies gathered during “shashu” bring luck and prosperity to a family. Shashu is common at weddings, marriage proposals and other similar events.

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The Kazakh people take good care of their traditions and skilfully follow them today. While small children expertly use computers and speak English, their grandmothers still wear national costumes and jewelry, so even despite a modern-day way of life and widespread digitalization, great mutual understanding and love prevail in such families. Customarily, a child from infancy is taught modesty and decency when communicating with adults.

One of the most significant events for the Kazakh people is wedding (“uilenu toy”). At least once in your life, you need to visit such a tremendous and significant event as a Kazakh wedding, where you can learn more about the wonderful traditions of Kazakhs.

Prior to the wedding, a marriage proposal (“kudalyk”, “kuda tusu”) should be made. Prospective relatives (groom`s relatives) visit a house of relatives from the side of bride. The procedure is deemed as an official acquaintance of two parties in a bride's house and is mandatory as the next wedding stages are discussed there. A bride's relatives provide guests with lavish treats and law a festive dastarkhan (table). A bride`s father gets gifts from a groom's relatives, which represent a downpayment. According to the Kazakh wedding tradition, after a marriage proposal a groom's side should pay “kalyn mal” (ransom for the bride). Then a bride puts in earrings (“syrga salu”), which represents a final agreement between the parties. The ceremony is performed by a groom's mother. Also, all bride`s relatives receive various gifts in the form of expensive fabrics or sets of gold and this wedding ceremony is called “kiit”.

Then a bride goes to a groom's house. It is a celebration, which precedes an official wedding and is called “kyz uzatu”, i.e. farewell ceremony for a bride. At the ceremony, guests from a groom's side are a minority. At the “kyz uzatu” ceremony, a bride should walk along a long white path made of fabric (“ak zhol”), which is a symbol of an undisturbed married life. Then, a bride along with relatives is sent to a groom's house. A bride's dowry arrives at the same time. A festive ceremony of meeting a bride is called “kelin tusiru”. The main element of kelin tusiru is performance of a traditional song with instructions and wishes called “betashar”. It is a crucial tradition for introducing a bride to the public. A bride's face is covered with a white cloth, which is held on both sides by relatives.   

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Despite a new European trends, today`s Kazakh wedding still preserves national traditions and customs. If previously wedding ceremonies took 3 days (and sometimes even more), today it can take one day. For their wedding dresses, brides usually choose white dresses. Also, such mainstream traditions as corteges, photo sessions at monuments, etc. gained popularity.  

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Specific attention is given to celebrations related to children. Thus, children are the greatest joy for each Kazakh family that is why there is a huge number of customs and traditions associated with their birth, growth and upbringing.

“Shildekhana” is a celebration dedicated to a birth of a child. “Esim koyu”, “at koyu”, “azan shakyru” is a custom of naming when a baby is given a name. The ceremony is entrusted to the most respected elderly members, who also bless a child.

The fortieth day of a child`s birth is celebrated in a special manner.  The ceremony on this day is called “kyrkynan shygaru”. During the ceremony, a baby is bathed in water with silver coins and silver jewelry placed on the bottom. Also on this day, a child is given the first hair and nail cut.

The next custom associated with children is called “tusau kesu”. Thus, according to Kazakh traditions, on the day when a child takes first steps, fetters are cut. This is done so that in the future a baby can walk gracefully and run quickly, as well as adopting the best qualities of a person who cut the fetters. That is why only respected people and elderly, women with many children, etc. cut the fetters. A person has to cut special ropes entangling a child's legs using a knife.  

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Architectural wonders of Kazakhstan

One of the main reasons why tourists visit Kazakhstan is our pristine nature, but the architectural heritage attracts a lot of attention as well.

A Yurt (traditional Kazakh portable tent-house)

Architecture is a storehouse of rich information about the culture of certain ethnic groups. The inner construction of the yurt is the best way to tell us about the life of the Kazakh nomads. The early history of a yurt dates back to the 12th century BC, and the nomadic dwelling with a spherical dome, the so-called Kazakh yurt, was finally formed at the beginning of the 19th century. Like many years ago, a yurt today is an indispensable element in the lives of the modern descendants of nomads in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Kyrgyzstan. The main secret lies in its convenience, simplicity, and practicality: it is easily transportable, quickly assembled and the felt cover saves its inhabitants from rain, wind, and cold. A yurt is an inexpensive comfortable dwelling that is in no way inferior to a capital structure. The yurt is called a masterpiece of nomadic architecture.

Khan Shatyr

Along with other eye-catching skyscrapers and futuristic structures, Khan Shatyr is the architectural highlight of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Translated from Kazakh, this name stands for “Khan of the tents”. And the building lives up to its name as it has been listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the tallest tent-like structure in the world.

Khan Shatyr is one of the largest shopping and entertainment centers in all of Central Asia. Forbes magazine has included it in the top ten world ‘eco’ buildings.

It brilliantly embodies the concept of having a piece of land with an eternal summer. The unusual 150 meter high tent is made out of unique and innovative materials that regulates a constant cozy microclimate on the inside, no matter what the weather is like outside.

Khan Shatyr is a masterpiece of modern architecture that stands out amongst the growing architectural diversity of the modern metropolis of Astana.

Mausoleums of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi and Arystan Bab

The city of Turkistan is famous for its beautifully designed architectural monuments. The most outstanding of them is the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, or as it is sometimes called the second Mecca for the Muslim people. But it would be preposterous to talk about the mausoleum without mentioning the Mausoleum of Arystan Bab, without whom there would be no great individual like Yasawi. According to history, Arystan Bab used to be Ahmed Yasawi’s mentor.

In honor of the victory over the Golden Horde, the great emir Tamerlane planned to erect a magnificent building which is the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. In the middle of the city of Yassy (the former name of Turkistan), an unprecedented feat of construction was about to unfold, in which every townsman took part. But inexplicably, as time went on the walls kept getting ruined. After that, Tamerlane has a dream where he saw Ahmed Yasawi asking him to build a mausoleum for his teacher - Arystan Bab first.

Tamerlane erected a monumental shrine on the site, where once stood a small two-room mausoleum built by the followers of Arystan Bab after his death in the 12th century.

The Mausoleum of Arystan Bab was repeatedly destroyed due to weather conditions and was restored again. So in 1971, with the financial support of the locals, the mausoleum was rebuilt from burnt brick. The only reminder of the construction methods once used in Tamerlane’s era is the ancient carved columns which are carefully stored in it.

The sacred and majestic Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi proudly stands tall at 37.5 meters. Its construction was completed in 1405. The incredible energy of the tomb allows you to understand the story and touch the Kazakh culture.

The majority of travelers start their pilgrimage with a visit to the Mausoleum of Arystan Bab, before setting off for their pilgrimage to the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi.

The Kazakhstan Hotel

In the second half of the 20th century, the development of Almaty was almost experimental in its nature. Thanks to this, a lot of ambitious old-time ideas in the style of Soviet modernism, gave rise to quite some amazing feats of architecture. For example, a 102-meter 25-storey skyscraper - Kazakhstan Hotel, which was considered the tallest building in Almaty for 32 years. Despite the fact that it was not allowed to construct buildings above 12 floors due to the high seismic activity of the area.

Thanks to brand-new construction method that was quite innovative for those days, The Kazakhstan Hotel remains the most earthquake-resistant building in Almaty to this day.

The tower with a golden "crown" on its roof is truly an iconic building of Almaty.

Ascension Cathedral

There is a world-famous religious attraction site located in Almaty, which was built of wood with virtually no nails using unique ancient architectural technology. The Ascension Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church is one of the eight tallest buildings in the world made out of wood. The interior of the church is decorated with drawings, stucco moldings and wrought-iron ornaments which give special splendor to this holy place.

This unique cathedral opened its doors for parishioners in 1907. Unluckily just three years later, a severe earthquake struck the city, destroying almost all the buildings around it. Thanks to the special construction techniques, the cathedral was amongst the few buildings which were not damaged.

Today, the temple hosts daily services for hundreds of Christians. And the cathedral itself bears the title of a unique historical monument, not only in Kazakhstan but throughout the world.

Kok Tobe TV Tower

The Kok Tobe TV Tower was built to perform clear technical tasks. But the elegant, unique architectural design and the height of the construction made it a symbol of Almaty.

The newest and most innovative construction methods of the time were used during its construction. Can you imagine that in order to ensure the stability of the 372-meter tower on clay soil, a concrete foundation weighing 45 thousand tons had to be built! Despite the fact that the total weight of the tower is 50 thousand tons.

Thanks to the pendulum damper system, the TV tower cannot be affected by any strong gusts of wind and has a high seismic stability up to 10 points on the Richter scale.

The Kok Tobe TV Tower is the second highest building in Kazakhstan, and the 14th highest TV tower in the world!

Beket Ata Underground Mosque

Beket Ata Underground Mosque is located near the city of Aktau in the tract of Oglandy. The main architectural feature is that this mosque is carved into the rock. This is not just a cave, but a carved area of several completed rooms. The walls of the mosque are decorated with Arabic and Persian inscriptions.

The hermit Beket built four architectural monuments like this in Kazakhstan during his life. Every year, thousands of believers come to pray at the shrine.


The national cuisine of Kazakhstan is popular not only in the country. Such famous Kazakh dishes as besbarmak, bauyrsaki, kazy, kuyrdak, іrimshik can be tasted in many cafes and restaurants throughout the country. Abundance of meat, sour milk products, flour-based food are the distinctive features of Kazakh cuisine. The gastronomic specialties of Kazakhstani cuisine cannot be ignored.

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Many recipes of national dishes are passed down from generation to generation, while serving of dishes is a real ritual. It is believed that nowhere else in the world you will find such a variety of national cuisines and the most diverse taste preferences. This is explained by the fact that people of more than 135 nationalities live on the territory of Kazakhstan. The main accent will always be on the Kazakh cuisine based on the traditions of the Great Steppe nomads. Delicious and healthy food of nomads is becoming very popular both among guests of the country and tourists. Such an abundance of various unusual dishes originated from certain regions of the country becomes a significant prerequisite for the development of a new format of tourism in Kazakhstan - gastronomic. Many experienced foreign tourists often come here not just to admire the wonders of local nature, but to taste the amazing food of the nomads, to become acquainted with their life, culture and ancient traditions.

National sports

National sports are the brand of our country. Since ancient times, the Kazakh people have organized competitions on all holidays. Interest in the national sports is reviving in the country and gaining popularity. During the competitions, spectators can also get acquainted with the customs and traditions of our people.

Kazakh national sports types:

1.“Audaryspak” is wrestling on horses, where only the best riders take part, because wrestling on horses requires exceptional endurance, strength, agility and excellent ability to hold on to the saddle. The aim of wrestling is that two riders on horseback compete in who will be able to pull an opponent off a horse.

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2. “Baiga” is one of the types of equestrian sports (horse races) and is also one of the oldest and most popular. This type of sports game has its own features: it takes place not only on flat plains and hippodromes, but can also be played in hilly, uneven places where high demands are placed on the athlete and his horse. The strong and fast do not always win a competition, it is necessary to consider a relevant arrangement of training and preparedness of a player, correctly assess situations during a competition, and reasonably use a horse's strength. This national sport is one of the most valuable because the game teaches endurance, resourcefulness and courage. At the moment, Kazakhstan has all the opportunities for the wide distribution of this sport, in our republic there are special stud farms that raise riding horses.

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3. “Asyk atu” is the asyk game (sheep bones), which is one of the Kazakh national games originating from ancient times. Many children's games are associated with the asyk game, this is explained by the nomadic image of the Kazakhs based on cattle breeding. Therefore, most of the Kazakh national games are based on playing with natural objects. That is why the Asyk game is considered one of the oldest national games. Playing the Asyk game from an early age strengthen the nervous system of children and bring up such qualities as accuracy, ability to calculate as well as endurance.

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4. “Zhamby atu” is one of the ancient games of the Kazakh people testing dexterity and sniper qualities of a brave dzhigit. It also touches the pride. Our brave ancestors preserved the vast territory due to the horses competing with the wind, and the bow which was a reliable weapon. These two assets, passed down from generation to generation, have come down to the present days of our country's independence. The zhamby shooting competition takes place on a flat field 300 meters long. At the finish point, at a distance of 100 meters, jamby are placed the size of a stallion's hoof on a pole 3-4 meters high. A rider rides a horse and aims at the jamby. No point will be awarded if a rider is aiming by restraining the galloping horse. At a gallop, driving past a zhamby on the left side, aiming, participants shoot from a bow. Regardless of the successful or unsuccessful achievement of the intended goal, without stopping they continue to run to the finish line. If the target falls from the pole, an arrow is considered to have hit and a rider is awarded a point. There are also other types of jamby shooting: aikabak, various types of rifle shooting, or multiple targets shooting.

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5. “Kokpar” is a type of national sports originating from the time of traditional wolf hunting. The main point of the game is simple, two teams (4 kokparshy in each) should grasp a goat`s carcass and throw it into an opponent's cauldron the maximum number of times. Kokpar is a combination of several sports: wrestling, rugby and horseback riding. Kokpar is an extreme sport, but modern equipment helps protect the participants` health. At the same time, a question often arises of replacing an animal carcass with a dummy of corresponding weight. Though there are elements of football or hockey in the game, they obviously do not have the same levels of physical activity.

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6. To date, such a sports type as “kazakhsha kures”, i.e. Kazakh wrestling, rooted in ancient times has gained immense popularity. Kazakhsha kures has been developing with the history of the Kazakh people. Any festive events cannot be held without this sports type. In Kazakh wrestling, an athlete moves freely, can fully use strength, his own methods, roll on his side, dump on his back, put a footrest, fight with his legs crossed, press with his body weight, hook his legs, grab his belt and dump over his head. The fight ends in a one-sided defeat, touching the ground with a spade. The main conditions are to combat an opponent using sophisticated methods and force. At the moment, competitions of republican and international importance in national wrestling are being held in Kazakhstan, which indicates the growing international importance to this sport. This is also done to make it more popular and increase interest in sports among young people.

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7. Fighting is both competitive and combative type of sport, which usually includes one-on-one fights. In many types of fighting, a participant wins by gaining more points than an opponent, or by bringing an opponent down. Combat sports have a long lineage with martial arts. Participants in single combats physically oppose each other in order to determine a winner in a fight using only physical strength or any kind of sports equipment or hand-held edged weapons. There are such types of martial arts as karate, judo, boxing, wrestling without rules.

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8. Hunting with birds. The golden eagle is a sacred bird for the Kazakh people. The bird was appreciated for its strength and greatness, while the span of its wings embodied freedom. Therefore, the image of the golden eagle on the flag of our country embodies the greatness of freedom, independence, nobility, perseverance. According to historic evidence, 3 thousand years have passed since the golden eagle was tamed and used for hunting, because it was this bird that could cope with such large animals as saiga, fox, roe deer. There are several types of hunting with birds and the most common one is with the golden eagle. To arrange a competition, a flat area (field) is selected, where wild animals, including wolves are released. The winner is a hunter whose bird caught the first animal.

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9. “Togyzkumalak” is the Kazakh folk board logic game, in which there are 18 playing holes and two accumulative holes. The game is based on the number 9 (nine playing holes, each hole initially contains nine balls), which is considered sacred by the Turks. The game develops mathematical thinking and fosters endurance. The game can last four to five hours. During the game, opponents have to use all four basic mathematical actions. The game is built not only on counting speed, but also on tactics.

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Kazakh literature is a history of several millennia. The primary sources of Kazakh literature are the dastans called “Alyp Yer Tonga”, “Shu Batyr”, which were created in the 11-3 centuries BC. Scientific research proved that the events described there are closely related to the ancient history of the Kazakh people. Among the sources of ancient Turkic literature are Orkhon-Yenisei inscriptions, the works of Yusuf Balasaguni and Mahmud Kashgari and treatise “Codex Cumanicus”.

In ancient times, the nomads of Kazakhstan told various legends about the exploits of mythical heroes, about gods and monsters in a poetic form. Over time, these stories developed into original epics called “Korkyt-Ata” and “Oguz-Name”.

In the 15th century, such genre as “tolgau” was formed. It is a poetic form of reflection, which contained some kind of wisdom or edification for any reason. Tolgau was performed by an author and singer called “zhyrau”. Thus, performing educational and enlightening functions, zhyrau had weight in the political life of the country and could influence society. Later, the tradition of holding “aitys” appeared. “Aitys” is a song/poetic duel between two “akyns” (singers) during which they addressed such topics as religion, society, political order and other acute issues.

In the 19th century, development of written literature began influenced by Russian and European writers. At the end of the 19th century, names of such authors as Ibrai Altynsarin, Shokan Valikhanov, and, in particular, Abai Kunanbayev, who is considered a classic of Kazakh literature, became widely known in Kazakhstan. The work of Abai (Ibragim) Kunanbayev (1845-1904) opens a new stage in Kazakh realistic literature. The power of Abai, as a great artist of the word, manifested itself with exceptional power in the poems of the Eight Poems. The main line of his work is a call for goodness, knowledge, culture, honest work, justice, love for the people, his native land. A keen connoisseur of Russian poetry, Abai translated about 50 works by Pushkin, Lermontov, Krylov. In 2020, Kazakhstan celebrated the 175th anniversary of the great poet.

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In the 20th century, traditional socialist topics became popular. During the Great Patriotic War, poets wrote patriotic poems and poems about soldiers and heroes of the battlefields. In the second half of the 20th century, writers began to create large novels, developed drama and even mastered science fiction. Thus, the Kazakh literature of the 20th century joined the global trends and has been maintaining the course to this day.


Since the old days, music and its main tools, i.e. folk instruments (kobyz, domybra, sybyzgy, dauylpaz, sazsyrnay, sherter, zhetigen, kerey, asatayak, kogyrau, etc.) have occupied a significant place in traditional Kazakh culture.

Kobyz is a bowed instrument of an unusual shape. It is made from a single piece of wood in which a hemispherical resonator with two compartments is hollowed out. Kobyz strings are made from horsehair. Usually, kobyz kyuis (musical pieces) are characterized by an amazing sound quality. Thus, they can imitate howling of wolves, cry of swans, running of horses and even sound of an arrow fired.

Dombyra remains the most favourite and widespread musical instrument among the Kazakhs. Dombyra was not difficult to make amidst a nomadic life and the history of its origin goes back to centuries. This instrument can still be found in Kazakh families and parents willingly send their children to dombyra lessons.

In the past, “sybyzgy” instrument was popular in traditional music which is made from a hollow stalk of Bashkir reed pipe. The simple form and availability of the material contributed to its popularity among Kazakh musicians. In terms of timbre coloring, sybyzgy emits a trembling sound, as if in awe or excitement, a sound that resembles the high sounds of a flute.

Asatayak is an ancient Kazakh and ancient Turkic percussion musical instrument. The shape resembles a wand or cane with a flat head decorated with ornamental patterns and metal rings, pendants. Asatayak has an open and harsh sound. To enhance the sound of the instrument, bucks used konyrau (bells), which were attached to the head of asatayak. When shaking the instrument, konyrau complemented the sound with tinkling. 

Sazsyrnay is a wind instrument made of clay. Found on the territory of Kazakhstan during excavations of the ancient settlement of Otrar. It has a transparent and light timbre. In ancient times sazsyrnay was a popular instrument among children and adolescents. 

Zhetigen is a Kazakh and Turkic ancient stringed pizzicato musical instruments resembling gusli or recumbent harp in shape. The classic zhetigen has seven strings, the modern one has fifteen.

Shankobyz is a reed folk instrument. It refers to self-sounding reed musical instruments. When playing, shankobyz is pressed against the teeth or lips and oral cavity serves as a resonator. Changing the articulation of the mouth and breathing makes it possible to change the instrument timbre. Besdies, new tones in the sound are introduced by changes in the positions of the diaphragm, numerous pharyngeal, laryngeal, lingual, labial and other methods of sound production. The instrument is usually made of metal or wood.

Dabyl (Daulpaz) is Kazakh national percussion instrument. It is a rim wire with a handle covered with leather on both sides and looks like a frying pan with a handle from a distance. Having a very loud sound, the instrument has served to give military signals in the past.

Folk songs occupy a special place in the musical culture of the Kazakhs. All folk performers - akyns, zhyrshi, dombyra players had an exceptional associative instinct, a subtle perception of the world and a unique memory thanks to which many types of traditional art have been preserved in the musical history of Kazakhs.

Since the dawn of time it has become customary that Kazakhs called singers as akyns who having dombyra in their hands performed in front of the audience or competed in “aitys”, i.e. song and poetic “disputes”.

In the 19th century, integration of Kazakh music into the culture of the world takes place: Kazakh musical traditions are studied by Russian and European musicologists, and at the same time, Kazakh musicians get acquainted with the music of the world. Mutual enrichment of cultures takes place, new names appear in the history of music of Kazakhstan such as Abai Kunanbayev, Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly, Ykylas Dukenuly and others. Today, Kazakh folk music is considered the heritage of Kazakhstan, composers and musicians create new works with an abundance of folk motives, and the history of musical creativity is also preserved. One of the best ways to get a closer look at the history of Kazakh music is to visit the Museum of Musical Instruments in Almaty.

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Public and national holidays of the Republic of Kazakhstan:

  • January 1st and 2nd: New Year (public holiday)
  • March 8th: International Women`s Day (public holiday)
  • March 21st, 22nd , 23rd: Nauryz (public holiday)
  • May 1st : Kazakhstan People's Unity Day (public holiday)
  • May 7th: Defender of the Motherland Day
  • May 9th: Victory Day (public holiday)
  • July 6th: Capital Day (public holiday)
  • August 30th: Constitution Day (public holiday)
  • October 25 th: Republic Day (national holiday)
  • December 16th: Independence Day (public holiday)

One of the main traditional holidays of the Kazakh people is Nauryz. Nauryz is officially celebrated in Kazakhstan for three days in a row: March 21st, 22nd and 23rd. Nauryz is called the New Year according to the ancient eastern calendar. On this day, yurts are installed on the streets of cities and villages of Kazakhstan, where everyone can taste festive treats. Mass games are held everywhere. Modern Nauryz has preserved the ancient traditions. Amidst revival of national culture, it is an important link in the "connection of times", history and modernity of Kazakhstan. The main ritual dish of this holiday is called “nauryz-kozhe”, which should consist of 7 ingredients (water, meat, salt, fat, flour, cereals (rice, corn or wheat) and milk). On September 30, 2009, Nauryz was included by UNESCO in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, since that time March 21st has been declared the International Day of Nauryz.

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Traditional clothing

Kazakh traditional clothing is an important and integral attribute of Kazakh culture. The main materials from which Kazakh clothes were made were cotton, wool and felt. Also being nomads, Kazakhs often made garments from skins, leather and furs, as they were best suited for the harsh conditions of the steppe.

Boots were used as footwear: in summer the Kazakhs wore light boots made of thin leather, and in winter they wore high boots made of rough leather protecting from the cold. Women's boots were green or red, embroidered with silk and decorated with small patterned plaques.

Men's clothing

The Kazakh men's clothing included a shirt and trousers, a robe (shapan) was worn on top, a hat was worn on the head (in the winter - tymak, and in the summer - kalpak). At the same time, shapan was considered one of the most important elements of men's clothing, showing the status of a man. Shapans could be of various thicknesses and colors.

Women's clothing

Women's traditional costume included a loose-fitting dress with a camisole or shapan robe on top. Usually, women's clothing was sewn from chintz, silk and velvet. A thin felt was also used. During the cold weather, women wore fox or lamb fur coats.

Embroidery was actively used in the decoration of Kazakh outfits, along with beads, felt, silver plaques and various embroidered patches.

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Saukele is a unique and distinctive headgear that occupies a special place in the traditional Kazakh clothing. Saukele was worn by Kazakh brides and it was the most expensive and beautiful element of a wedding dress. Saukele was cone-shaped, decorated with pearls, corals, turquoise, gems and small coins. At the top of saukele, which was about seventy centimeters high, was a bunch of owl feathers. Saukele was supplemented with special “zhaktau” pendants, they were long and could reach the waist and below.

After the wedding, a married woman's costume was complemented by “kasaba” hat embroidered with elaborate golden patterns. As soon as a woman gave birth to a first child, she began to wear a white “kimeshek” turban.

It was customary for men to wear a felt hat called “kalpak”, as well as a skullcap cap called “takiya”. During the cold weather, men and women wore “boric” fur hat or “tymak” sheepskin headgear.

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