For people interested in ethnic culture, Uzbekistan’s authorities organise a few nice festivals that bring ethnic song and dance and showcase the country’s fashion and food. There is little room in Uzbekistan for private initiative of this type, but some other events still exist.
Festivals in Uzbekistan
Chimgan Extreme: February, Chimgan mountains. Winter sports festival near Tashkent.
Navruz: 21 March. Central Asia’s New Year. The whole region welcomes springtime with song, dance and good food. In Uzbekistan, family celebrations and street parties are a natural part of the day. Traditional games like Kukpari will be on show around this time.
Russian Orthodox Easter. Date changes. An Orthodox celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Eggs are hamstered by babooshkas days in advance to bake the special ‘kulich’ dish, and the midnight mass has a special atmosphere.
Day of Memory and Honour: 9 May. Remembering the Great War. Military parades everywhere.
Silk and Spice festival: Bukhara, June. Mostly a shopping festival, with some concerts thrown in.
Beer festival: Tashkent, June. Tashkent might not be the beer destination of choice for the experts, but this festival nonetheless features lots of drinking and fun.
Chimgan’s Echo festival: Chimgan mountains, first week of June. Cozy atmosphere at this outdoor music festival for singer-songwriters and revival of bard’s music. Also includes a mountainbike downhill race.
Ramazan Hait: Date changes. Called Eid Al-Fitr in the Arabic world, this celebration ends Ramadan with tasty food. Uzbeks take Ramadan more seriously than others in Central Asia.
Sharq Tarolanari (Samarkand, August). Big international ethnic music festival, held biennially in uneven years (2017-209-2021-…) in front of the Registan.
Independence Day: 1 September. Concerts and fireworks to celebrate the end of the Soviet Union.
Kurban Hait: Date changes. Called Eid Al- Adha in the Arabic world, on this Muslim holiday it is traditional to go to mosque, sacrifice a sheep and give meat to the poor.
Uzbek Flag Day: 8 November. Celebrating the national flag with a festival and concerts.
Bazar Art: Tashkent, November. Exhibition of masterpieces of contemporary traditional arts and crafts of Uzbekistan.
Constitution Day: 8 December. Another nation-building, leader-glorifying moment with concerts and the like.