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Holidays and Festivals of Uzbekistan

Festival "Sharq Taronalari" – Melodies of the East

Samarkand – is one of the most ancient and world - famous cities.
By its age, Samarkand can be compared to such ancient cities as Rome, Athens, and Babylon. In 2007 Samarkand celebrated its 2750 – year anniversary. Historical monuments of Samarkand impress contemporaries by their beauty and greatness.
On one of these unique monuments of architecture – Registrant square – every biennium between 25th and 30st of August International Music Festival "Sharq Taronalari" ("Melodies of Orient") is held on regularly organized under the patronage of UNESCO.
International Music Festival "Sharq Taronalari" ("Melodies of Orient") is one of the biggest festivals in Central Asia. The main aims and objectives of the festival are to popularize widely the best achievements of national music art, to preserve and develop great traditions of people, to encourage talents in musical and vocal sphere, as well as to spread in further international creative ties, to strengthen cultural-spiritual cooperation, to praise peace, friendship and ideas of mutual sympathetic.
The first International Music Festival "Sharq Taronalari" ("Melodies of Orient") took place in 1997 at which participated musical groups and performers from 31 different countries. Today it became one of the most popular and famous festivals not only in Central Asia but also abroad. The bright evidence to this is that year after year not only the number and the artistic level of participants are increasing, but also geographical range of participating countries is widened.
Thus, at the 8th International Music Festival "Sharq Taronalari" that was held on in 2011, participants from more than 50 countries attended the event.
It became a good tradition to undertake international scientific conferences, devoted to particular aspects of music, at which participate scientists and scholars from all over the world. Each Festival, that was held on in Samarkand is unique and exclusive.
The Musical Festival "Sharq Taronalari" such a grandiose festive occasion held at Registan Square in Samarkand on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, has become an important cultural event in the field of international cooperation which has given not only the impulse to the creative contacts between the performers, musical and cultural workers of different countries but it has also stimulated the integration into the musical process taking place parallel on various cultural continents. Don't lose your chance to visit this unique event of the year!

1. Festival structure
The basic founders of the International festival "Sharq Taronalari" are the Ministry of affairs of culture and Republic Uzbekistan sports, Variety association "Uzbeknavo", the National broadcasting company of Uzbekistan, the Union of composers of Uzbekistan, hokimiyat the Samarkand area.

2. Festival actions
Within the limits of festival following actions are carried out:
- Competition "On the best execution of a national song";
- Scientific-theoretical conference;
- Gala concert.

3. Festival conditions
In festival actions can participate from each country creative delegation to 6 persons. On stay of delegation in the country the festival Management incurs all expenses. Hotel accommodations are given double (In case of a wish of the participant to live in a single room it will be necessary surcharge).
Participation in festival of actors at own expense to 9 persons is supposed.
Participants of festival represent festival Managements to target dates the musical program.
Duration of sounding of the program should not exceed 30 minutes and can include following directions:
1. National musical creativity;
2. Traditional classical music;
3. Modern music, including variety products.
It is necessary for participants of festival to bring with itself a flag of the country in the size 2м х 1м.

4. Competition conditions "On the best execution of a national song"
Professional both amateur creative collectives and soloists can take part in competition.
Competition consists of 3 rounds:
The first selection round in which 3 songs wished to take part in the competition are listened, written down on an audio-videocassette or a laser disk, is preliminary. The general sounding of songs should not exceed 15 minutes. Audio-videocassettes should be directed to target dates to festival Management, DVD/CD and photos of participants.
On the second and third rounds of a song should be executed by directly executor. Music underneath is supposed by means of a soundtrack Management of the International Musical festival "Sharq Taronalari"
Official site: www.sharqtaronalari.uz
E-mail: sharqtaronalari@mail.ru
Ph.: (+99871 244-20-98
Bodies. A/fax: (+99871 244-20-98, (+99871 244-13-54)

5. The international jury
For competition estimation the international jury is formed.
The basic criteria of estimation are bright national typicalnec, pithiness, high mastery, east attire, scenic virtuosity.

6. Awards are established following awards for winners of competition:
Гран At at a rate of 10.000 US dollars.
1 - the award (2) everyone on 7.000 US dollars.
2 - the award (2) everyone on 5.000 US dollars.
3 - the award (2) everyone on 3.000 US dollars.
Special awards founders can establish the creative unions, funds and other organizations.
Laser disks will be made of products in execution of winners of competition.
Also, special diplomas will be handed over each participant of competition.

7. The rights of organizers The international festival reserves following rights:
1. Exclusive rights on an announcement and the permission to other organizations on translation.
2. Exclusive rights on manufacture and distribution of all kinds of audio-and production video (CD, DVD, cartridges, films, videocassettes).
3. Exclusive rights on use of some auxiliary materials sent to Management of festival конкурсантами, for the advertising purposes.
4. All participants who have arrived on competition sign the agreement with Competition about observance licensee, copyrights, the respect of laws, traditions of Uzbekistan, Position performance about competition and represent the medical insurance.

8. Conference
Within the limits of festival International scientifically - theoretical conference will take place. Also carrying out of a round table with participation of managers and producers concerning the International cooperation in sphere of the musical industry is planned.

The Spring Holiday Navruz

Navruz – is a New Year holiday celebrated by many Oriental nations. The holiday dates back to the time when the most ancient chapters of Aversa, the sacred book of the Zoroastrians, were being written. Today "Navruz" is celebrated each year on March 21st. In most of the Silk Road countries, Navruz announces the joyful awakening of nature after winter and the beginning of the agricultural cycle of cultivating, planting, and harvesting. Its celebration is marked by concerts in parks and squares, trade fairs and national horseracing competitions, dog and cock fighting.
Celebrations of spring are a natural outgrowth of the earth is rhythms. In most of the Silk Road countries, Navruz announces the joyful awakening of nature after winter and the beginning of the agricultural cycle of cultivating, planting, and harvesting. Navruz traditions are similar throughout the region, and have varied little over the centuries. Unlike the western New Year traditions, Navruz is celebrated in daytime hours within the family circle. March 21 is the main celebration, but for the next 13 days it is common practice to visit friends and relatives, buy and plant seedlings of fruit trees and have cheerful gatherings in the fresh spring air. Traditionally, it is also a time to "clean up" one's life. People tidy up their homes, wash rugs and draperies, decorate with flowers, and buy new clothes that they will use for visiting. On the day of Navruz, all housekeeping - including the preparation of the meal, careful cleaning of the home and the arrangement of blossoming branches from apricot, peach, almond or pomegranate trees - must be completed before rising of the morning star. Children enjoy the holiday because they often get presents of money, as well as blessings, from their elders.
The activities of the first 13 days of the new year are considered harbingers of the year to come. For this reason, it is traditional to end quarrels, forgive debts and overlook enmity and insults. It is a time for reconciliation, when forgiveness and cheerfulness are the dominant sentiments. As with the celebration of the Chinese New Year, there are traditions associated with the first visitor to the house during Navruz. To ensure good luck for the coming year, this person should have a "happy foot"; he or she should be kind, gentle, witty, and pious and have a good reputation.
Central Asia has its own Navruz traditions. From ancient times, the holiday was celebrated in agricultural oases with festivals, bazaars, horseracing, and dog and cock fights. Today, Uzbeks still serve a traditional meal of "sumalyak", which tastes like molasses-flavored cream of wheat and is made from flour and sprouted wheat grains. Sumalyak is cooked slowly on wood fire, sometimes with addition of spices. Sprouted grain is the symbol of life, heat, abundance and health. We invite everyone to joint to the Spring Festival of "Navruz" in Uzbekistan!!!

New Year's Day

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are also celebrated by Uzbek people with great enthusiasm. In every family a New Year tree is decorated and a feast is prepared. Outdoor fetes take place, too. Various entertainment programs are broadcast on TV. Among the state holidays of Uzbekistan there are many religious ones. They are celebrated according to the Muslim lunar calendar. In the Soviet times these holidays were banned in Uzbekistan. But after the country became independent, these holidays were legalized and by now they have acquired really nation-wide character. One of the most significant Muslim holidays is Kurban-Khait. It is the day when the faithful should make a gratifying oblation in accordance with their personal incomes. After the ritual praying the faithful go on visits or receive guests at home. On this day those who are poor and suffering are taken a special care of.

Teacher's Day, Women's Day

The calendar of the national holidays of Uzbekistan also has Commemoration Day which is celebrated on May 9th. On this day all those Uzbekistan citizens who gave their lives for the freedom of their motherland, who bravely fought in the World War II, who selflessly worked in the home front for the sake of the victory over the fascist Germany, are commemorated. March 8th is celebrated as International Women's Day in Uzbekistan. On this day men of all ages and status show their love and respect to women, give those flowers and presents. October 1st is celebrated as the national Teacher's Day.

BUZKASHI/ KOUP- KARI

The great horse game of Central Asia Is the traditional wild horse game of Central Asia, unique in the world, with a dead goat as the aim to catch? We are proud to organize visits of those games at big celebration days from autumn till spring. Often it is connected with traditional weddings over a couple of days.
It has different names in the regions of Central Asia as Kup Kari, Ulak Tyrtysh, Kok Beru, Ulak tartysh, Kok-bory, Buz- Kashi.
The wild traditional horse game The wild traditional horse game of the nomads of the Central Asian steppes, a fierce fighting between riders for a goat carcass.
The carcass of a goat or sheep is the aim to catch and carry to a goal and drop or just to drop near the tribune of the organizations of the game, often a wedding society. The riders and their horses are extraordinarily skillful, turning amazing riding maneuvers and a repertoire of hand-held armaments to either aid or attack. The carcass is pretty heavy inside filled up with wet salt and becomes easily 40- 50 kg. The horsemen compete to grab .
The horsemen compete to grab it and gallop away and then dropping the carcass after some 50 or 100 meters. A judge on a horse controls the game more or less but in any case he is ruling out the actual winner. The other riders try to prevent that by attacking the rider and trying to steal the carcass away.
Kup Kari is held only in the Winter suasion, starting around end of October till end of March. It begins at 10 or 11 am and may last till sundown at 5 or 6pm. It's a fierce struggle with smashing whips on horses and men, whinnying horses, raising dust and an always running crowd. Twice men of the surrounding crowd got ridden down by accident but it seemed the horses had an extreme sense; they didn't hurt those men although it looked really frightening. The riders are remarkable horsemen and fierce competitors, where anything goes. Smashed faces, bloody ears, even we saw a horse with a beaten out eye. The horses show a lot of courage, they are very good trained and are devoted to their owners. Winners get prizes in cash and in cattle.
The riders wear high leather boots with high heels, cushioned jackets and a fur hat or more modern tank caps. The horses are bred for the game and possess special qualities. We saw mostly stallions of pure or half pure Karabair breed; some horses seemed to have some Mongolian blood, some horses to have a wider relative of Akhal Takke.
Winners get prizes in cash and in cattle. It starts with 10.000 Sum (10 USD) and goes up to sheep's, goats, young bulls, camels even cars on big events. The game lasts around 15- 30 minutes, and then starts the next round for a new price and with a new winner.