Day Of The Capital

Capital City Day is a public holiday observed annually in Kazakhstan on the 6th of July. Also known as the Day of Nur-Sultan, this holiday commemorates the country’s capital being switched from Almaty to Astana. The capital city of Astana is now known as Nur-Sultan, after being renamed in 2019 in honor of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the country’s president for over three decades.

Nur-Sultan is the second-largest city in Kazakhstan, despite now being the capital, and is located in the Akmola Region of the country. This holiday is observed with much fanfare, including concerts, parties, laser light shows, and fireworks.

The History of Capital City Day in Kazakhstan

At one point in time, Kazakhstan was part of the Soviet Union, and its capital city was Almaty, the largest city in the country. Then the Soviet Union collapsed, and Kazakhstan decided to switch the capital from Almaty to Akmola on July 6, 1994.

Almost two years later, on May 6, 1998, Akmola was renamed Astana, a word that means “capital city” in the Kazakh language. In 2008, the 6th of July was officially made a national holiday. When Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned after being in office from April 24, 1990, to March 20, 2019, the city was renamed Nur-Sultan.

Observing Capital City Day in Kazakhstan

In 2005, Jasta Park on Dóńgelek Square was opened to the public for the first time, and this park has traditionally been used for some Capital City Day celebrations. Every year, there are also a variety of brass bands that perform at the Astana Samaly International Festival. There are also military tattoo festivals, fireworks over the Yessil River and city park, and political speeches given on this day. Laser light shows are also usually part of the celebrations.

In 2020, many Capital City Day celebrations were set up to coincide with Nursultan Nazarbayev’s 80th birthday. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the celebrations for this holiday had to be held virtually. For those interested in spreading the word about this holiday, the hashtag #CapitalCityDayKazakhstan can be used on social media.

Where is it celebrated?
Kazakhstan (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
July 6 Saturday
Next year (2025)
July 6 Sunday
Last year (2023)
July 6 Thursday