Kazakhstan celebrates Day of Abai for the first time

Kazakhstan celebrates Day of Abai for the first time

Today Kazakh residents celebrate the Day of Abai for the first time. On August 10, 1845, the great Kazakh poet, founder of the national written literature, philosopher Abai (Ibrahim) Kunanbaiuly was born in the present day Abai district of East Kazakhstan region. The new holiday – the Day of Abai - was included in the calendar of holidays by the Decree of Kazakh government.

The emergence of the significant date is a symbol of the spiritual revival of Kazakh people, said Professor of the Kozybayev North Kazakhstan State University, Honored Figure of Kazakhstan, prominent journalist and Abai expert Zarkyn Taishybai.

“We have been waiting for this day for so long. Although we celebrate birthday anniversaries of Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy, Abai occupies a special place in the history of Kazakh people. We often were wondering why we are not celebrating Abai’s birthday. There were different opinions on when the great philosopher was born. According to one version, his birthday is on August 23, but according to the other – on August 10, but it is basically the same date. It is just that the first version is according to the old calendar, and the second one is according to the new calendar. Nevertheless, intellectuals, poets, and connoisseurs of art from Almaty and Karagandy celebrated this day informally and visited the monument of Abai. It is now an official holiday. It is yet another manifestation of our spiritual revival and growth,” Taishybai said.

This year, the 175th birth anniversary of Abai Kunanbaiuly is celebrated at the international level. During the anniversary year, the legacy of the great Kazakh poet is widely publicized and translated into different languages of the world, international scientific conferences, Abai readings, poet’s music evenings, poetry challenges and book exhibitions are organized.