Azerbaijan International

Winter 2002 (10.4)
Page 13

Holiday Calendar for 2003

Jan 1 New Year's Day
Jan 20 Day of Martyrs (1)
Feb 11 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 17 Day of National Revival (11)
Nov 25 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, and the Karabakh War (1988- ).

2 Religious holiday commemorating Abraham's sacrifice of his son, Ismayil. Moveable date based on the lunar calendar.

3 The night in 1992 when Armenian troops attacked the town of Khojali and wiped out much of the population. Hundreds of civilians, including women and children, were killed; the remaining townspeople managed to flee. 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-11 years later.

4 Holiday from Soviet period celebrating victory over Germans in World War II.

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).

7 Commemorating 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 the composed classical music movement in Azerbaijan. Not an official holiday but 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 solidarity among Azerbaijanis throughout the world.


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