Ұлыстың Ұлы күні (the most important day of the people) - the holiday of Nauryz is an integral part of the ancient Tengri cyclical calendar.

The Tengri cyclical calendar, better known today as the "Chinese or Oriental calendar", is at the heart of nomadic civilization and a regulator of all aspects of nomadic society. The Kazakhs called it “mushel”.Mushel was also called the 12-year cycle itself, which was its basis. This calendar is the most valuable source for studying the traditional worldview, spiritual life and the national character of the Kazakhs. The essence of the holiday is the celebration of spring and the glorification of the bright sun.

As on every big holiday, every family prepares a rich festive table - Dastarkhan. Prayers in the name of the ancestors are recited before and after meals. The dish Nauryz-kozhe  (in translation - Spring soup) must be present at the festive table.

In each country where Nowruz is celebrated, as you have noticed, according to the tradition of the table, there should be seven specific dishes, and in some countries, in addition to seven dishes, there are seven objects that symbolize respect for the sun. Among the Kazakhs, this tradition - the homage to the sacred number 7, is embodied through this very spring dish –Nauryz-kozhe soup.

This soup is prepared only for this holiday. According to tradition, it should contain seven ingredients - water, meat, salt, fat, something made of flour, something cereal - rice, barley, corn or wheat, and milk, which represent the cycle of life. They represent the plant (various cereals) and animal (meat and milk) world. The ingredients of the soup symbolize: joy, luck, wisdom, health, wealth, growth and divine protection

It is believed that if you try Nauryz-kozhe in seven different houses, then the whole year will pass in abundance and prosperity

Nauryz-kozhe is also called „Tileu-kozhe“ - soup of wishes, “Kop-kozhe” - soup of abundance

And for our brothers, Tatars and Bashkirs, there should be seven items / products on the table, the names of which begin with the letter "c" - vinegar, sumac, garlic, sumalak, apples, sea buckthorn and fresh herbs. And 7 more with the letter "sh" - wine, sugar, syrup, honey, sweets, milk and rice.

Among the Tatars, usually on this holiday a group of children go from house to house with congratulations and wishes for prosperity and wealth (like the Bulgarian koledari), in return they ask the hosts for:colorful hard-boiled eggs, sweet and cereals of seven types (rice, buckwheat, peas, millet, barley, oats, wheat). This action is called «нәүрүзәйтепйөрү» - a message that Nowruz has come

Walking down the street, the children sing songs about spring, and as they approach another house, they begin to send greetings and wishes: "NauruzMubarakbad!".They congratulate with a song or verse (takmak)

On the street or at the highest point of the village People gather together, light a fire and in a large cauldron cook "Kargabotkasi" (Crow's porridge) - porridge of seven different types of grains (millet, wheat, buckwheat and etc.), which the children have already collected during the tour of the houses throughout the village. After the games and entertainment, everyone is treated to what is cooked. The first portion is given to the earth with a wish for peace, tranquility and a rich harvest. The second is for water to preserve living things on earth. The third is for the sky - to have many sunny days and rainfall throughout the year, and the fourth - for the Rook-birds, thanks to the fact that they brought spring.

At the end of the table, all our people usually make a big tea drink, which is accompanied by various delicacies - balesh, baursak, pancakes, gubadiyu, honey, chak-chak, irimshik, various dried fruits and candies.

It all goes under thesound of songs, dances and fun.

Photos: Yulia Popcheva, PR of Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Science

Video: Aigerim Choleva