1 Commemorates the victims of the tragic events of Black January (1990), when Soviet troops attacked Azerbaijani civilians in Baku.
2 Religious holiday commemorating Abraham's sacrifice of his son, Ismayil. Moveable date, based on the lunar calendar.
3 In 1992 the night when Armenian troops attacked the town of Khojali (population about 8,000) and killed hundreds of civilians, including women and children. The remaining townspeople tried to flee; some succeeded, some didn't. This brutal onslaught marked the beginning of the Armenian military occupation of the entire region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven adjacent regions - approximately 15 percent of Azerbaijan's territory. A final peaceful resolution has yet to be achieved between Azerbaijan and Armenia - nearly 12 years later.
4 Holiday from Soviet period celebrating victory over Germans in World War II, which they refer to as "The Great Patriotic War".
5 Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (ADR), the nation's first independent government (1918-1920). Considered the most important national holiday.
6 When Parliament invited Heydar Aliyev to come to Baku to lead the country (1993). He then was elected President (October) and served for two terms (1993-2003).
7 Commemorates the establishment of Azerbaijan's first army under the independent government of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918).
8 Birthday of Uzeyir Hajibeyov (1885-1948), composer and founder of "composed music" in Azerbaijan. Not an official holiday, but this date annually marks the opening of the Theater Season.
9 When Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union (1991). The USSR officially collapsed on December 7, 1991.
10 When the new Constitution, Azerbaijan's fourth, was ratified (1995).
11 When the first demonstrations broke out in Azerbaijan against Moscow's policies as they related to Nagorno-Karabakh (1988).
12 Marks the end of the traditional Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan. Lunar calendar.
13 When Azerbaijanis broke down the barriers (during the Soviet period in 1989) along the border that separates them (North Azerbaijan) from (South Azerbaijan) Iran. An estimated 25-30 million Azerbaijanis live in Iran today. This holiday is intended to foster friendship and solidarity among the Azerbaijani Diaspora throughout the world.
Back to Index AI 11.4 (Winter 2003)
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