The Karakum Desert is a vast arid land expanse located in Central Asia mainly situated in Turkmenistan covering more than 80% of this country

Novruz Bayram

International Novruz Day. Colorful folklore and ethnographic performances, bright costumes, songs and dances that came to us from the depths of centuries emphasized the deep symbolism of this ancient celebration in honor of the awakening of nature and renewal of life.

As the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov emphasized in his festive address to the people, “This holiday, which has firmly entered the life not only of Turkmens but also of all eastern nations, has become a celebration of peace, humanism, friendship and brotherhood. Being a symbol of rebirth, blossoming and renewal, Novruz unites peoples, uniting them and developing trusting relations. Good-neighborliness, mutually beneficial relations, trust to each other are the basic principles of Novruz”.

The Novruz holiday, included in the List of World Intangible Cultural Heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has absorbed high spiritual and moral values and original traditions of many peoples, including Turkmenistan. It is a perfect example of the millennial synthesis of cultures, in which ancient rites and family customs are mixed with musical heritage, modern art and brought to an impressive nationwide fun.

The main events of the day took place in the capital on the bank of the Karakum River, where an improvised town, recreating in the main details the Turkmen traditional way of life with colorful rituals, spread its possessions.

Here, behind the symbolic gates, a large Turkmen village with yurts, stomping grounds, farmsteads with domestic animals, steaming cauldrons harmoniously combined with the oriental bazaar with its colorful market stalls, cheerful callers and artists entertaining the people.

The lush and joyful Turkmen toga in honor of Novruz resounded with jubilant melodies and sparkled with colors of spring rainbow.

Children were the first to greet the guests of the celebration – honorable elders, representatives of various labor collectives, numerous Ashgabat residents and guests of the capital – at the main entrance to the festive ground. They were inspired by reciting a poem dedicated to Novruz.

Novruz is not just a meeting of spring and a symbol of triumph of awakening nature. It is a herald of peace, good-neighborliness and friendship, mutual understanding between people. That is why it is one of the most significant and valuable holidays of mankind, which since 2010 has been celebrated as the International Novruz Day.

The theme of the big costumed narration was science, pages of its history. The actors of the theater recreated the images of outstanding scientists of the East, who made a great contribution to the development of philosophy, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, etc.

Creative groups, soloists and folklore ensembles greet the participants of the festivities with rousing music and dances. Children greet the guests of honor with cheerful poems and merry songs.

Here one can also see how wheat is sprouted for the traditional green composition, how the ritual dish of seeds and other national dishes are prepared, and taste Turkmen churek directly from the tamdyr.

Here the participants of the celebration were given an opportunity to learn the secrets of cooking such traditional dairy products as chal, gatyk, suzma, ayran and others, try spinning wool, weaving reed mats, contribute to making koshma-keche, sit at the loom.

The attributes of rural life were complemented by decorations imitating cowsheds and pastures, and a fiery dance of shepherds.

Here visitors also see livestock in special pens. Special attention of the guests is attracted by their proud and mighty guards – Alabai, whose upbringing is an integral part of the traditional culture of Turkmens, which is still developing today.

In the exhibition part of the town there is an agricultural exposition presenting the rich national traditions of farming and fruits of the native land. Sprouts of wheat – one of the main attributes of the holiday – were green everywhere.

Novruz, symbolizing the awakening of the earth, the revival of nature, from ancient times has absorbed manifestations of all forms and types of folk art, spiritual and cultural values of many generations of our ancestors. All this crystallized in a completely unique set of traditions and rituals, which were recreated in their performances by the participants of the current celebration.

The attention of the guests was attracted to the field station, where methods of irrigation of gardens and fields were demonstrated. Young boys regulated the work of a large and heavy spinning wheel – chigir – an ancient water lifting device with bailers attached to it. This is how the irrigation of fields, orchards, vineyards and melons was solved in the ancient times. The main moments of agricultural works – sowing and watering – were demonstrated with musical accompaniment.

Against the background of greenhouses, an exhibition of various agricultural products of domestic producers, seedlings, fresh flowers was organized, which became the embodiment of beauty, fertility and fragrance of Turkmen gardens, foothill meadows and river valleys. After all, Novruz opens a new season in agriculture.