Unity Day in Kazakhstan

Observed as a public holiday in Kazakhstan, Unity Day celebrates the people of the Kazakh nation and the relations between them and all ethnicities living in the country. This day is observed annually on May 1st and has been celebrated since the 1990s.

Since it’s a public holiday, schools and government offices are closed on this day, and many businesses also choose to close. This day is observed with a fair amount of enthusiasm across Kazakhstan, and celebrations often include concerts, parades, and children wearing traditional clothing.

It’s also a day for the older generation to instill in their children respect not only for their own ethnicity but also for people from other ethnic backgrounds.

The History of Unity Day in Kazakhstan

The origins of this holiday can be traced back to the mid-1990s. It was when President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed into law the act that created Unity Day on October 18th, 1995. This act also canceled Labor Day — a Soviet holiday that was previously celebrated on this day. In 1996, this holiday was celebrated for the first time, and it has been celebrated ever since.

Observing Unity Day in Kazakhstan

Unity Day, also known as Kazakhstan People’s Unity Day, is celebrated in various ways. It’s a day for people to get together with their families to celebrate their heritage and to instill in their children respect for other people’s heritage as well.

Around this day, it’s common for schoolchildren to dress up in their traditional clothing and to bring foods specific to their ethnicity to school to share with other students. There are also widespread concerts in all the major cities of Kazakhstan, accompanied by traditional dances and songs from people of different backgrounds.

Where is it celebrated?
Kazakhstan (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
May 1 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
May 1 Thursday
Last year (2023)
May 1 Monday