Winter 2006 (14.4)
Official Holidays This Year
Left: Maiden Tower in Baku with snow,
New Year 2007. Banner reads: "2007 New Year Congratulations!"
in the colors of the Azerbaijani flag - blue, red, green.
Spring Equinox (First Day of Spring)
||Victory Day (3)
||Army Day (6)
||Music Day (7)
||Day of National
1 Commemorates the victims
of the tragic events of Black January (1990) when Soviet troops
attacked Azerbaijani civilians in Baku. Officially 132 people
died (January 20-21), but Azerbaijanis suspect that the number
is drastically under-reported. See "Black
January: Behind the Scenes - A Photojournalist's Perspective"
by Reza with Betty Blair.
2 In 1992 the night when Armenian troops
attacked the town of Khojali (population about 8,000) and killed
hundreds of civilians, including women and children. The remaining
townspeople tried to flee; some succeeded, some didn't. This
brutal onslaught marked the beginning of the Armenian military
occupation of the entire region of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven
adjacent regions - more than 15 percent of Azerbaijan's territory.
A final peaceful resolution has yet to be achieved between Azerbaijan
and Armenia - nearly 15 years later. See "Khojali
- Eyewitness Account From the Following Day" by Thomas
3 Holiday from the Soviet period celebrating
victory over Germans in World War II, which they refer to as
"The Great Patriotic War".
4 Founding of the Democratic Republic
of Azerbaijan (ADR), the nation's first independent government
(1918-1920). Considered the most important national holiday.
5 When Parliament invited Heydar Aliyev
(May 10, 1923 to December 12, 2003) to come to Baku to lead the
country (1993). He then was elected President (October) and served
two terms (1993-2003).
6 Commemorates the establishment of Azerbaijan's
first army under the independent government of Azerbaijan Democratic
7 Birthday of Uzeyir
Hajibeyov (1885-1948), composer and founder of "composed
music" in Azerbaijan. Not an official holiday, but this
date annually marks the opening of the Theater Season. See HAJIBEYOV.com
for Music Samples and oral histories and tributes.
8 Marks the end of the traditional Muslim
month of fasting, known as Ramadan in English. Moveable date,
based on the lunar calendar.
9 When Azerbaijan declared its independence
from the Soviet Union (1991). The USSR officially collapsed on
December 8, 1991.
10 When the new Constitution, Azerbaijan's
fourth, was ratified under President Heydar Aliyev (1995).
11 When the first demonstrations broke
out in Azerbaijan against Moscow's policies as they related to
12 When Azerbaijanis broke down the barriers
(during the Soviet period in 1989) along the border that separates
them (North Azerbaijan) from (South Azerbaijan) Iran. An estimated
25-30 million Azerbaijanis live in Iran today. This holiday is
intended to foster friendship and solidarity among the Azerbaijani
Diaspora throughout the world.
1. (Dates inside parenthesis)
indicate extension of official holidays this year.
2. Dates shown with slash (/) such as March 24/26 mean that because
the original date (24) falls on the weekend, that 26 (Monday)
is also granted as a holiday.
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