Official and National Holidays of Kyrgyzstan

January 1 New Year’s
January 7 Orthodox Christmas
February 23 Defenders of the Fatherland Day
March 8 Women’s Day
March 21 Nooruz
May 1 Labor Day
May 5 Constitution Day
May 9 Victory Day
August 31 Independence Day
November 7 & 8 – Days of History and Memory of Ancestors 

Two Muslim holidays “Orozo Ait” and “Kurman Ait” are determined annually according to the lunar calendar and are established annually by separate decrees of the Government of Kyrgyzstan.

There are many international holidays in Kyrgyzstan, such as New year’s or International Women’s Day, also some holidays left from Soviet Union and some since independence.

Let’s talk in more detail about each of the above holidays:

January 1 – New Year

The biggest and most popular holiday in Kyrgyzstan is definitely the New Year. It is celebrated on the night of December 31st to January 1st by everyone, regardless of religious and national beliefs. As a rule, preparation for the holiday begins in advance, and by the end of December in all cities there is a Christmas tree in the squares, and the festive atmosphere can be felt everywhere: in houses, shops, restaurants. In large shopping centers, Santa Claus and Snegurochka congratulate small children and give them gifts. The New Year is associated with a big feast, so most people tend to celebrate this holiday at home with family and friends. At midnight, after the president’s congratulations, everyone goes outside to admire the colorful fireworks and salutes.

Winter in Kyrgyzstan | Travel Land

January 7 – Orthodox Christmas

On this day, around a million Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas in Kyrgyzstan. This is the only Orthodox holiday that is a day off in Kyrgyzstan. On the night of January 6-7, Christmas services are held in Orthodox churches. The Christmas table should be generous and rich. In addition, it is believed that the needy should be invited to the Christmas table. Christmas festive services are held in all churches of the republic. In the Bishkek Resurrection Cathedral, the Bishop of Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan congratulates the faithful.


February 23 – Defenders of the Fatherland Day

On this day, Kyrgyzstan celebrates Defender of the Fatherland Day, which is a public holiday and an official day off. The holiday was established by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2003 with the aim of military-patriotic education of the younger generation, creating conditions for honoring and worthy of respect for veterans of the war and the Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic.

It is generally accepted that on February 23, 1918, the Red Guard detachment won its first victories near Pskov and Narva over the regular troops of Kaiser Germany. After the collapse of the USSR, the holiday continues to be celebrated by the CIS countries, including Kyrgyzstan. On this day, women congratulate their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. A lot of memorable and solemn events take place across the country. The main celebration and parade takes place on the main square of the capital “Ala-Too”.

Ala-Too Square in Bishkek | Travel Land

March 8 – Women’s Day

On this day, Kyrgyzstan celebrates International Women’s Day, which is an official holiday in the country. This is one of the most beloved and massively celebrated holidays. This is not just a women’s holiday, but a holiday of spring and rebirth. On March 8, feminists all over the world, including Kyrgyzstan, hold peaceful marches of solidarity and use this day to remind the world of gender equality, the fight against domestic violence against women, low wages and other manifestations of discrimination.

Kyrgyz little girl | Travel Land

March 21 – Nooruz

Nooruz – the first day of the beginning of spring and one of our biggest holidays. The word “Nooruz” translates as “new day”.  Nooruz is the equality of day and night; Beginning of a season of growth and prosperity.

On the day of the holiday, each family was set on the table – a white tablecloth with various dishes. To treat the neighbors, they prepared a traditional food, commonly called “sumelek”, made from wheat malt with flour, butter and sugar. On the eve of the holiday, people put in order housing, paid off debts, make peace with with everyone with whom they were in a quarrel. The old people claimed, when Nooruz enters their homes, all illnesses and failures must go away.

Kyrgyz girls in national clothing | Travel Land

May 1 – Labor Day

May 1 is celebrated as Labor Day in Kyrgyzstan and is a day off. Initially, this holiday was called the Day of International Solidarity of Workers and came to the Soviet Union in 1917, in Kyrgyzstan this holiday was recognized in 1919. In all the republics of the USSR, the holiday was widely celebrated – with May demonstrations, sporting events, folk festivals. Spring and Labor Day is celebrated as a national holiday in 86 countries.


May 5 – Constitution Day

On this day, the Kyrgyz Republic celebrates Constitution Day, because on May 5, 1993, at the XII session, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan adopted the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic. Since its adoption, the Constitution has been repeatedly amended and supplemented – in February 2003, November and December 2006, October 2007, June 2010, December 2016. The latest version of the Constitution was submitted to a national referendum on April 11, 2021.

Kyrgyz flag at Ala-Too Square in Bishkek | Travel Land

May 9 – Victory Day

Victory Day is celebrated in Kyrgyzstan annually on May 9th. Festive events are held in the capital on Ala Too Square and at the Eternal Flame on Victory Square, where an honor guard, troops of the Bishkek garrison and a separate military demonstration orchestra are exhibited.

On the morning of May 9 in Bishkek at 10 o’clock, the laying of wreaths and baskets of flowers at the Eternal Flame begins, then a minute of silence is announced, at the end of which the guard of honor fires a three-volley salute. Also in Bishkek, processions of the “Immortal Regiment” take place, in which several thousand people take part.


August 31 Independence Day

On this day, Kyrgyzstan celebrates its main holiday – Independence Day. The Kyrgyz Republic gained independence on August 31, 1991 after an extraordinary session of the Supreme Council of the Republic, which adopted the Declaration of Independence – a document proclaiming Kyrgyzstan a sovereign democratic state.

If you catch this holiday during your trip in Kyrgyzstan, then go straight to the main square of the capital Ala-Too, where festive events and concerts with performances of local stars take place. At the end of the event, a festive fireworks display awaits you.

Kegety Gorge in Chuy | Travel Land

November 7 & 8 – Days of History and Memory of Ancestors

Instead of one obsolete Day of the October Revolution, since 2018, Kyrgyz people have been celebrating two holidays on November 7 and 8 — the Days of History and Memory of Ancestors. During the Soviet era, all the Union republics celebrated the Day of the Great October Socialist Revolution on November 7th. With independence, most of the countries of the former Soviet Union stopped celebrating this day. As president, Almazbek Atambayev signed a decree on October 26, 2017, according to which November 7 and 8 were declared the Days of History and Memory of Ancestors.