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14-03-06, 08:32
Is Novruz celebrated by all the Turkic speaking peoples or just by Uyghurs and Iranians, maybe Turkish, too?

14-03-06, 10:07
Is Novruz celebrated by all the Turkic speaking peoples or just by Uyghurs and Iranians, maybe Turkish, too?

Noruz Bayrimi - Novruz Festival

By Tughluk A. Osman Editted by: Gulbahar Mamut

Novruz - or Noruz Bayrimi in Uighur - is one of the major and the most favorite holidays of Uighur and other Turkic people in Central Asia. Although it is celebrated in Islamic countries, however, Novruz is not a religious holiday. It is actually a celebration of the symbolic renewal of nature. According to Turkic scholars, it originates from the Ancient Mesopotamia. In Babylon New Year was celebrated starting from the 21st day of March ( or Nissan ) and lasts for 12 days. According to historians, Novruz is certain to have been celebrated in pre-Islamic times and afterwards.

Novruz is associated with spring, start of agricultural activities, renewal of nature and warm days. This period being of great importance it caused many traditions and rites associated with magic, the cult of nature and earth, and belief in the perishing and reviving nature. Virtually, celebrations began four weeks before the actual day of festivity. These four weeks were each devoted to one of the four elements. They were: Su Heptisi (Water Week), Ot Heptisi (Flame Week), Tuprakh Heptisi (Earth Week), Ahiri Heptisi (Last Week). According to folk beliefs, on Water Week 'water renewed and dead-water came to stir'; the Flame Week was believed the day of fire rebirth; on Earth Week the earth revived. On the Last Week the wind opened tree buds and spring arrived. Nowadays, due to the busy schedule and other reasons, the festival become much shorter, ranging from one day to two weeks.

The most important week was the Last Wednesday before the vernal equinox and most of important rites and ceremonies were delivered that day which concerned all the aspects of human life. Those rites were intended to provide welfare for an individual, his family and the community in general, to get rid of the old year's troubles and to avert a calamity.

According to Uighur tradition, on the day of Novruz, all people in the town including young and old congrigate in a beutiful place such as park to celebrate the festival. They wear beutiful traditional dresses and customs and sing songs and play games to entertain the crown. The poets and writers will dictate their poems and folklors for glorifying Novruz. Story tellers will entertain the crowd by telling jokes and short stories. Musician and singers will show their telant by playing music, and dancing. There will be games such as 'Oghlakh Tartix' (Catch the Goat) , 'Khiz Khoghlax' (Girl Chasing) or hourse rasing. In some occation, 'Davazqi' - (an unique Uighur high rope riding game) perform and attract hundreds of people. Young girls sit on the ground and play games, others sit arround musicians to enjoy beutiful Uighur 12 Mukams. In short, everyone will give his or her own best performance to entertain the crowd. School children will be organized to attend festival that make the occation alive. Since teacher prepare children well in advance for attending the festival, usually the childrens performance attract the most audience.

In order to prepare for Novruz, villigers select a number of individuals a few months before the festival. The group of people will be responsible for collection dues from villegers. Special kind of food named Novruz Food will be cooked which has to contain weat, rice, grain, meat, milk and water as ingredients. In addition to the special Novruz food, there are also plenty of fruit and vegetables to feed the crowd. Based on Uighur tradition, everyone who attend the festival has to taste some of Novruz food.

Although every Uighur consider Noruz as an important holiday. Nobody knows exactly when Uighur started the holiday. Based on the legend and folklores, it could be traced back to the period before Uighur became Muslims. Therefore, it is not a religious holiday.