Kazakhstan has always had a very white Christmas, as it snows for four months straight, as part of its winter months.
However, December 25th aka Christmas isn’t a big deal as 70% of the citizens of Khazakstan are practicing Muslims.
On this day, everyone goes to work, goes out shopping, and public transportation moves on–just like any other day.
This means that for the Christians who live in Kazakhstan, they do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th–not unless it is a weekend and they have the day off.
Mainly their practice has been to celebrate it the Sunday just before the 25th rolls around on the calendar.
On Christmas day, they usually sing their usual songs of worship in church, or they sing some translated songs from Russian or Kazakh.
There are also a few very traditional songs from Kazakhstan for Christmas.
Christmas celebrations are also a time for Khazahkstan Christians to bring a friend into the church, particularly if they have never heard of Christmas or Jesus before.
A lot of citizens have always been curious about the holiday and what it celebrates, but they also not mind another holiday party to attend.
After the church service is over, this is where Khazahkstan Christians really show off.
Hospitality is one of the most important aspects of the country’s culture, and Christians often bring their friends home or to other Christmas holiday parties directly after church to celebrate.
Meals are very important. Generally, they serve salads, nuts, chocolate, fruits, plov (beef, rice, carrots cooked in cumin and oil) and baursak (donuts).
Say Merry Christmas in Kazakh by saying “Rojdestvo qutti bolsin” and say Happy New Year by saying “Jaña jul kutty bolsyn”.
New Year’s in Kazakhstan
New Year’s Day is when all of Kazakhstan celebrates as a country.
No, there aren’t any Christmas trees, or Santa Claus’s to sit in their lap and tell your secrets to, or anything else like that–there is a Snow Father (who has a snow maiden to help him out) and New Year’s Day is when kids get presents from their parents.
These events circle back from when Kazakhstan was part of the USSR, which forbid the celebration of any religious holidays.
The government then pushed New Year’s Day to replace all of the religious holidays, which explains why even 20 years after the fall of the USSR, New Year’s Day is still so important to the country.
Ironically enough, Kazahkstan broke free from the USSR on December 25th, 1991, however its Independence Day as a country is celebrated December 16 every year.
New Year’s celebrations begin in early December, interestingly enough, which thankfully fits with Kazahkstan Christians celebrating Christmas the Sunday before the 25th.
During New Year celebrations, children will often entertain by singing or reciting poems for the Snow Father, who still wears a red suit and leaves them presents on New Year’s Day!
If you go into town, you will see all of the spectacular lights, particularly in the store windows and streets.
It’s almost just like Christmas–but not, it’s New Year’s Day celebrations!
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Main Points About Christmas in Kazakhstan
- Christmas is not a big holiday in Kazakhstan and for the few Christians there, it is celebrated on the 7th day of January.
- A white Christmas is always guaranteed in Kazakhstan because the snow does not melt until March.
- Christmas trees, Santa Claus and Christmas presents are almost non-existent in Kazakhstan. Only about 50 Christmas trees are erected in public places throughout the country.
- 40-day preceding Christmas, some people avoid meat during this time.
- After the first star is seen on the Christmas eve, then the Christmas meal can start. The star is considered symbolic of the birth of Jesus.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Christmas in Kazakhstan
The Christians in Kazakhstan, around 30 % of the population, belong to the Orthodox Church and celebrate Christmas on January 6th, but as the majority of the population are Muslims, Christmas isn’t a very big holiday in this country, but you will get snow!
Some Christians might also celebrate Christmas on the 25th.
As in most Orthodox countries, Christians will go to church at midnight after the main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve.
Word Cloud for Christmas in Kazakhstan
The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Kazakhstan. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.