IMPORTANT DATES

01 January – New Year

New Year is the time or day at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count increments by one. Many cultures celebrate the event in some manner and the 1st day of January is often marked as a national holiday. As in many countries, also in Azerbaijan the 1st January is celebrated as New Year.

20 January – The day of the Nation wide sorrow

This day also known as Black Saturday or the January Massacre, was a violent crackdown on a civilian population of Baku on 19–20 January 1990, pursuant to a state of emergency during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. According to official estimates 147 Azerbaijani civilians were killed, 800 people were injured[1] and five people went missing. However unofficial number put the number of victims at 300 dead. 

26 February – Khojaly Genocide

The Khojaly Genocide, also known as the Khojaly tragedy, was the killing of at least 161 ethnic Azerbaijani civilians from the town of Khojaly on 26 February 1992. According to the Azerbaijani side, as well as the Memorial Human Rights Center, Human Rights Watch and other international observers, the massacre was committed by the ethnic Armenian armed forces, reportedly with help of some military personnel of the 366th CIS regiment, apparently not acting on orders from the command. The death toll claimed by Azerbaijani authorities is 613 civilians, including 106 women and 63 children. The event became the largest massacre in the course of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

08 March – International Women’s Day

International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women's rights. After the Socialist Party of America organised a Women's Day on February 28, 1909 in New York, the 1910 International Socialist Woman's Conference suggested a Women's Day be held annually. After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations. This holiday also celebrated in Azerbaijan every year on 8 March.

20-21 March – Novruz Holiday

Novruz is a traditional holiday, which celebrates the New Year, and the coming of Spring. In this holiday people do house cleaning, plant trees, make new dresses, paint eggs, make national pastries such as shekerbura, pakhlava, shorgoghal and a great variety of national cuisine. The decoration of the festive table is khoncha, a big silver or copper tray with Samani, green shoots from wheat seeds placed in the centre and candles and dyed eggs by the number of family members around it. The table should be set, at least, with seven dishes.

31 March – Massacre of Azeris

March 31 is marked as the Day of Genocide of the Azerbaijanis. This day refers to inter-ethnic strife and massacres of about 12,000 Azerbaijanis and other Muslims that took place 31 March in 1918 in the city of Baku and adjacent areas of the Baku Governorate of the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic.

09 May – Victory Day

Victory Day is a holiday that commemorates the surrender of Nazis (or the German army) in 1945. It was first inaugurated in the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, following the signing of the German Instrument of Surrender late in the evening on 8 May 1945. The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing ceremony in Berlin.[2] Though the official inauguration occurred in 1945 the holiday became a non-labour day only in 1965 and only in certain Soviet republics.

10 May – Flower Holiday

The Flower Holiday is celebrated across Azerbaijan on May 10 every year. The colorful holiday, stands in memory of national leader Heydar Aliyev and is annually held in the country’s capital Baku and regions since 2000. The holiday marked on May 10 - on the birthday of the national leader -- lasts for several days, filling the city with an amazing atmosphere.

28 May – Republic Day

Republic Day honours the date on which the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was founded on 28 May 1918 as the first secular democratic state in the Muslim East. The founder, first and only president of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic is Mammad Amin Rasulzadeh. Since 1990, 28 May - Republic Day is celebrated as a national holiday       

15 June – National Salvation Day

The National Salvation Day is one of the most memorable dates marking an important event in the history of Azerbaijan. On this day, all Azerbaijanis celebrate the historical return of the national leader, Heydar Aliyev, from the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic to capital Baku. From this moment, the country's rapid development both economically and politically began. The holiday acquired the official status in 1997, and since 1998 it has become a national holiday.

26 June – Day of the Armed Forces

Day of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan - is annually celebrated on June 26, in Azerbaijan, by the Decree issued by Heydar Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On June 26, 1918 a Muslim Corps, established by a decision of the Special Transcaucasian Committee, was renamed to Detached Corps of Azerbaijan with the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.    

18 October – Independence Day

The Independence Day of Azerbaijan is the main state holiday in Azerbaijan. This date is celebrated annually on October 18. On 18 October 1991 the constitutional act "On the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan" was approved and adopted by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The act of independence was affirmed by a nationwide referendum on 29 December 1991, when the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist.

12 November – Constitution Day

 

Azerbaijan has been celebrating “November 12” as a Day of Constitution since 1995 when the constitution was adopted through a referendum in the country. A commission was established under the guidance of national leader Heydar Aliyev. A draft document was submitted via a referendum and the first constitution of independent Azerbaijan was adopted on November 12, 1995.

17 November – National Revival Day

 

National Revival Day is observed in Azerbaijan on November 17 every year. It commemorates the 1988 public rally against the inconsistent policy of Kremlin toward Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. On November 17, 1988, thousands of Azerbaijanis gathered at Azadliq Square in Baku to protest against the indifference of the central government toward the Armenian separatism in Nagorno-Karabakh. It was the first large-scale anti-Soviet protest in Azerbaijan. In 1992, November 17 was designated as National Revival Day.

31 December – World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day

 

World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day is an annual public holiday in Azerbaijan celebrating the worldwide solidarity and unity of Azerbaijanis. The day was inspired by the dismantling of border fences between Soviet Azerbaijan and Iran in December 1989 and the collapse of the Berlin Wall in the same year. In 1989 the local residents took down the Soviet–Iranian border in then - Nakhichevan ASSR to reunite with Iranian Azerbaijanis. On the same day, the first World Congress of Azerbaijanis took place in Istanbul. The day was first promoted on 16 December 1991 by then - Chairman of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Supreme Assembly Heydar Aliyev.

Qurban Holiday

 

The holiday of Gurban (sacrifice) is one of the grandiose holidays of Islamic world. Two holidays of Islam eydul-ezha (known as Gurban bayram) and eydul-fitra  are legalized. As the most important surmises of Islam Gurban bayrami is demanded by Koran. This holiday is part of moslem's pilgrimage to Mecca. The holiday of Sacrifice is celebrated in the 10th day of the 12th month-Zilhija of the Moslem calendar (Hijri-Gamari calendar) cutting scarifying animals in the period of pilgrimage to Mecca. Every year Qurban holiday is held in Muslim countries also in Azerbaijan.

Ramadan Holiday

 

Ramadan holiday has an important place among Islamic religious holidays. The history of this holiday starts from the second year of Hijri calendar (623 B.C.). Ramadan month is considered to be the brightest, and the holiest month in Islam. They call it “the king of 11 months” too, as our holy book the Koran was sent down in one of the nights of this month. This night is called “gedir” or “ehya”. Every year Ramazan holiday is held in Muslim countries also in Azerbaijan.