Independence Day in Uzbekistan
Observed annually on September 1st, Independence Day is a public holiday in Uzbekistan that is the National Holiday of the country and commemorates its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Also known as “Mustaqillik Kuni,” this holiday is celebrated in a wide variety of different ways and with plenty of cultural flavoring.
On this day, there are parades, political speeches, local craft shows, traditional music, and traditional dance. It’s also celebrated with open-air concerts where huge crowds gather, particularly in public venues such as National Park in the capital city of Tashkent. It’s a day for residents of this country to show their national pride and have a good time while doing it.
The History Of Independence Day In Uzbekistan
Because of Uzbekistan’s position on the Silk Road that linked trade between Asia, and Europe, this country has been pursued by various empires over the millennia. It was under the control of the Persian Empire, the Mongolian Empire, and the Chinese Empire. When the Uzbeks grew out of dwindling Iranian tribal populations, and other nomadic tribes from Mongolia and Turkey, they ended up at the location of what is now modern-day Uzbekistan. During the 16th century, the area would then splinter into three distinct city-states.
Eventually, these city-states were consolidated under the Russian Empire. After the Russian Revolution, they would then become a part of the Soviet Union and on October 27, 1924, the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was formed under the USSR. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Uzbekistan would declare its sovereignty in June of that year. On September 1st, 1991, the independence of the country was then declared by the Supreme Council of the Republic.
Observing Independence Day In Uzbekistan
On this day, the country is alive with color and pageantry. There are traditional folk costumes worn by dance troops and traditional music fills the air. There are parades and festivals, art exhibitions, and a variety of other events all across the country.
There are also traditional dishes served such as Plov (rice pilaf served with lamb or beef, raisins, garlic, and onions), Shashlik (shish kabobs served with lamb, beef, or chicken), and Fried Lagman (noodles pan-fried with peppers, onions and tomato paste). And, of course, there are fireworks at the end of the day.