Navruz in Uzbekistan

It’s celebrated on the 21st of March. In cities, towns and villages people celebrate this holiday, the eastern New Year, which is a holiday that celebrates the awakening of nature, and promotes friendship, fraternity and cultural and historical traditions. March is the spring equinox, meaning that the day is equal to the night everywhere on the planet. Our ancestors considered this day the beginning of the astronomical year. Uzbek scientists of the past wrote that Navruz was celebrated long, and long ago. During the Arab invasion in Central Asia, Navruz was prohibited, but after the downfall of the Arab Khalifate in the 9th and 10th centuries it was revived again. The young and the old prepare for Navruz in a flurry of spring cleaning, washing, scrubbing, painting and decorating of homes.

A week before the holiday many people take part in public wide khashars, (voluntary, unpaid work performed collectively). Women cook a wide variety of delicious food such as palov, shashlik, khasip, kuk somsa and monti, and different sweets. Only the best of cooks are entrusted with the important task of making sumalak. Sumalak is boiled for more than 24 hours in big cauldrons, the bottoms of which are covered with little washed river stones and nuts. According to customs, those who get a stone when the dish is served in plates or cups will be fortunate in the coming year and their dreams will come true.

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