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Festivals & Public Holidays

Azerbaijanis rejoice in many festivals throughout the year with May noted for being the month for food festivals in Baku. Many events and concerts also take place during this period. Among them are the Jazz Festival and Food exhibitions of Baku. As Muslims make up a majority of the population in Azerbaijan, the spiritual festival of Ramzan is celebrated big time with festivities and decorations all around the country. Many national days have been instated to honor and remember important events in Azerbaijan's struggle for independence.

Gurban Bayram (Festival of Sacrifice)

Also known as the "Festival of Sacrifice", this day is very important in Muslim tradition, as it marks the end of Haji pilgrimage and the readiness of Abraham to forgo his son for God. In Azerbaijan this day is known as Gurban Bayram where a goat or camel is sacrificed to God in remembrance of Ibrahim (Abraham). According to the Quran, Allah was pleased with Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his son and therefore ordered him to sacrifice a Ram instead of his son.

Novruz

Novruz Bayram or the Zorastrian New Year is now a public holiday in Azerbaijan. The novruz table is decorated with sweets, candles, dried fruits and colored eggs. In some places the table is filled with food items starting with the letter "S", such as sib, sonbol, sabzi, serkeh, sir, sumakh, sekkeh and saat. A bowl of goldfish is placed in the centre of the table, as it is believed that the fish will turn north as the clock strikes New Year.

Photo Credit: Mandana Asadi / CC BY-SA 3.0

Ramazan

As the month of Ramazan comes to an end, Muslims all around the world celebrate the last day as Eid Ul Fitr. In Azerbaijan this day is known as Ramazan Bayram. Those who have fasted the whole month with pure heart, break their fast after seeing the full moon. Families and friends come together to celebrate this festival by exchanging gifts and sweets and donating money to charity. Prayers are offered at mosques and later everybody greets each other with "Id-Mubarak".

International Women's Day

March 8, is marked as a special day to honor the spirit of women all around the world, and also for women's equality, progress and standing of a woman in a man's world. Azerbaijani's also celebrate this day, to give thanks to their women.

Victory Day

May 9 is celebrated in Azerbaijan in honor of the victory of Soviet Republic over Germany during World War II and as a mark of respect for veterans who lost their life during the war.

Republic Day

May 28, is a public holiday in the country so as to commemorate the day when the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan was formed in 1918.

National Salvation Day

On June 15 Heydar Aliyev, returned to his position as the leader of the country which lead to many major economic and social changes in the life of Azerbaijani people bringing stabilization in the country. This day is marked as a state holiday.

Constitution Day

On November 12, 1995, independent Azerbaijan adopted, approved and implemented its first Republic Constitution. Ever since, this day is celebrated as the Constitution Day and is public holiday for the citizens of Azerbaijan.

Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis

Every year December 31 celebrated in the harmony that Azerbaijani people felt when the borders in Nakhchivan on the USSR-Iran borderline fell on December 31, 1989. The day has been inspired by the destruction of the Berlin Wall which paved the way for German reunification.

International Baku Jazz Festival ( Visit Site )

Jazz is a much loved music form in Azerbaijan and every year through various festivals and concerts jazz lovers pay their respect to the growth in jazz music in post Soviet Azerbaijan. At the Baku Jazz festival, various groups, bands and musicians get together to celebrate their love for jazz music by participating in this festival.

Address: 100 Mardanov Qardashlari Street 10, ‚ÄčAZ 1022, Baku, ‚ÄčAzerbaijan

Photo Credit: PD Photo

Some other Holidays / Observances in Azerbaijan:
  • Black January
  • Victory Day over fascism
  • Day of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan
  • National Flag Day
  • Moslem Festival of sacrifice
  • Independence Day