Azerbaijan International

Winter 2003 (11.4)
Page 9

Holiday Calendar - 2004

Jan 1 New Year's Day

Jan 18 40-Day Commemoration after President Heydar Aliyev's Death
Jan 20 Day of Martyrs (1)
Feb 1 Gurban Bayrami (2)
Feb 26 Commemoration of Khojali Massacre (3)
Mar 8 International Women's Day
Mar 20-21 Novruz Bayrami (Festival of Spring)
May 9 Victory Day (4)
May 28 Republic Day (5)
Jun 15 National Salvation Day (6)
Jun 26 Army Day (7)
Sept 18 Music Day (8)
Oct 18 National Independence Day (9)
Nov 12 Constitution Day (10)
Nov 15 Ramadan begins for one month
Nov 17 Day of National Revival (11)
Dec 13 Bayram Ramazan (End of Ramadan) (12)
Dec 31 Azerbaijan Solidarity Day (13)

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.

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