Culture

Kyrgyzstan is a moutainous country located in Central Asia. Its climate depends on the region. The southwest is extremely hot in summer (40°C), in the north, the temperature will depend on the elevation above sea level, indeed the climate varies from continental to polar.
Kyrgyzstan is a former Soviet republic and kept Russian as an official language, along with Kyrgyz language, a Tukic language. Even though, the Kyrgyz language was written using the Arabic alphabet, it is now written with the Cyrillic alphabet. 

Flag

Red with a yellow sun in the center. While the red represents peace, the sun with its 40 rays symbolyzes the 40 warriors of the national hero Manas. And the lines inside the sun symbolizes the crow of the yurt (түндүк - tunduk).  

 

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Religion

Due to its position in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is higly influenced by other cultures such as Uzbek, Russian, Chinese (dungan) and Turkic. Therefore there are two main religions: Islam and Russian Orthodoxy. 

 

National celebrations

 Kyrgyzstan celebrates New Year (1st of January) as well as the traditional Persian New Year Nowruz (vernal equinox) during which, feasts and festivities (traditional horse games, dances, singing show) are organized.

Along those two main celebrations exist other celebrated public holidays:

  • 7 January – Orthodox Christmas
  • 23 February – Fatherland Defender's Day
  • 8 March – Women's Day
  • 24 March – Day of National Revolution
  • 1 May – Labor Day
  • 5 May – Constitution Day
  • 8 May – Remembrance Day
  • 9 May – Victory Day (end of World War II)
  • 31 August – Independence Day

 

Horse games

Horse riding and horses play an important role in the Kyrgyz culture. That is why, most of the national games are played with horses.

Here are the main popular horse games:

  • Ulak Tartysh - team game in which two teams are fighting to catch a headless goat carcass and put it on the opposition's goal (a circle or a big tub).
  • At Chabysh – Long distance horse race. 
  • Kyz Kuumai - a chase between a man and and girl. First the man tries to catch the girl to win a kiss, if she manages to run away she can turn back and chase him. If she catches him, she can beat him with a horsewhip (kamchi). 
  • Oodarysh – two men have to wrestle and make the other one fall from the horse.
  • Tyin Emmei – the aim is to pick a coin up from the ground being at full gallop. 

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