Traditions of Kyrgyzstan

Customs and traditions in Kyrgyzstan were meant to help with the biggest transitions in life, and to provide order and meaning from birth to death. These traditions fit into the nomadic lifestyle, and were centered around the family. There are traditions for childbirth and for death, as well as weddings and married life, that defined life in Kyrgyzstan from ancient time and adapted to the modern day.

Back when the Kyrgyz were nomads, birth was dangerous for both the mother and the baby. Midwives were essential to ensuring the health of the mother and baby, and precautions were taken to protect them from evil spirits. Despite the perilous process of giving birth, the new baby was a source of joy, and there were several celebrations held for newborns.

To this day, weddings are a major Kyrgyz celebration. Wedding traditionally is a way to celebrate a bride leaving her family and joining her groom’s family. There are old Kyrgyz traditions related to weddings, as well as modern customs featuring Western elements.

Families are the backbone of Kyrgyz society, and the traditions and customs related to families remain crucial till this day. There is a definite hierarchy that dictates each person’s place in the family, all the way from the family patriarch to the youngest daughter-in-law. People treat with respect their elders who have a special place of honor next to the guests.

Kyrgyz customs around death were meant to honor the life that the deceased lived, and to ease his or her passing to the next world. People would gather to mourn and sing traditional songs in his or her house.