The Spring Holiday Nauryz-Meiramy in the Kazakh Tradition

Dina Amirova

The present article is the first attempt by the author to give a scholarly interpretation of the interesting yet under investigated phenomenon of Kazakh ‘Nauryz’. The ethno-cultural traditions of ‘Nauryz’, lost as a result of Islamization and Sovietization of Kazakhstan, have been revived over the last 30 years.

The article reviews the basic socio-historical prerequisites of ‘Nauryz’ in the system of Kazakh traditional culture, taking into account the typological features of spring holiday (the idea of cyclic revival of life), as well as specific aspects of Central Asian nomadism. The author regards ‘Nauryz-meiramy’ as a complete calendar-ceremonial complex of high social and spiritual significance and conditionally differentiates three interconnected components of the traditional ‘Nauryz-meiramy’ (ritual, competitive, entertaining) and emphasizes their duplicative character.

The article devotes special attention to an examination of the musical context of ‘Nauryz-mejramy. The value of the untimed music characteristic of the Kazakh traditional culture in general, and also the search for the lost non-ritual genre (akin to carols) is also discussed. At the same time, the author seeks to reconstruct its principal model.

Journal Musicologist
Year 2018
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 49-77

Amirova, Dina (2018) The Spring Holiday Nauryz-Meiramy in the Kazakh Tradition . In: Musicologist: International Journal of Music Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 49-77. Available at



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