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Celebrating Global Festivals With Locals In Kazakhstan

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Celebrating Global Festivals with Locals in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, the largest landlocked country in the world, is known for its rich cultural heritage and diverse population. The country boasts a wide range of global festivals that are celebrated with great enthusiasm by both locals and tourists alike. Participating in these festivals is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the vibrant Kazakh culture and create lasting memories. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular global festivals in Kazakhstan and how you can celebrate them with the locals.

Nomad Fest

Nomad Fest is an annual festival held in Kazakhstan that celebrates the nomadic traditions and heritage of the Kazakh people. During this festival, visitors have the opportunity to experience the nomadic lifestyle firsthand by staying in traditional yurts, participating in horseback riding, and learning about traditional crafts and customs. The festival also features cultural performances, traditional music, and local cuisine. Here are some highlights of Nomad Fest:

  • Traditional Yurts: Stay in a traditional yurt and experience the nomadic way of life.
  • Horseback Riding: Take a ride on a Kazakh horse and explore the beautiful landscapes.
  • Traditional Crafts: Learn about traditional Kazakh crafts such as felt-making and embroidery.
  • Cultural Performances: Enjoy traditional music, dance, and performances by local artists.
  • Local Cuisine: Indulge in delicious Kazakh dishes and traditional nomadic food.

Almaty Winter Festival

The Almaty Winter Festival is a celebration of winter sports and outdoor activities in Kazakhstan. Held in the city of Almaty, this festival attracts locals and tourists who are eager to embrace the winter season. From skiing and snowboarding to ice skating and snow tubing, the festival offers a wide range of winter activities for all ages. Here are some highlights of the Almaty Winter Festival:

  • Skiing and Snowboarding: Hit the slopes and enjoy the thrill of skiing or snowboarding.
  • Ice Skating: Glide across the ice in the festival’s ice skating rink.
  • Snow Tubing: Slide down the snow-covered hills on a tube for an exhilarating experience.
  • Snow Sculpture Competition: Marvel at the intricate snow sculptures created by talented artists.
  • Winter Food Market: Sample delicious winter treats and warm beverages from local vendors.

Eurasia International Film Festival

The Eurasia International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in Central Asia. Held annually in Almaty, this festival showcases a diverse selection of international films, including feature films, documentaries, and short films. The festival provides a platform for filmmakers from around the world to showcase their work and promotes cultural exchange through the art of cinema. Here are some highlights of the Eurasia International Film Festival:

  • Film Screenings: Watch a variety of international films across different genres and themes.
  • Q&A Sessions: Engage with filmmakers and actors during post-screening Q&A sessions.
  • Workshops and Masterclasses: Learn from industry professionals through workshops and masterclasses.
  • Red Carpet Events: Experience the glamour of the festival at red carpet premieres and galas.
  • Awards Ceremony: Celebrate the best films and filmmakers at the festival’s prestigious awards ceremony.

Kazakh New Year

The Kazakh New Year, also known as Nauryz Meyrami, is a traditional holiday celebrated by the Kazakh people to welcome the arrival of spring. The festival is a vibrant celebration of Kazakh culture and includes various customs and rituals. During the Kazakh New Year, you can witness traditional performances, taste traditional Kazakh dishes, and participate in festive activities. Here are some highlights of the Kazakh New Year:

  • Traditional Performances: Enjoy traditional music, dance, and theatrical performances.
  • Nauryz Games: Take part in traditional games and competitions held during the festival.
  • Traditional Cuisine: Sample delicious Kazakh dishes and traditional New Year treats.
  • Spring Rituals: Witness traditional rituals and customs associated with the arrival of spring.
  • Street Festivities: Join the lively street celebrations and parades that take place during the festival.

Kokpar Championship

Kokpar is a traditional Kazakh sport that involves horse-mounted players trying to score goals by putting a goat carcass into the opponent’s goal. The Kokpar Championship is a highly anticipated event in Kazakhstan, attracting both locals and international spectators. This thrilling sport showcases the remarkable horsemanship skills of the Kazakh riders and their bond with their horses. Here are some highlights of the Kokpar Championship:

  • Kokpar Matches: Watch intense matches of Kokpar played by skilled riders.
  • Cultural Performances: Enjoy traditional music and dance performances during the championship.
  • Traditional Costumes: Admire the colorful and intricate traditional costumes worn by the players.
  • Local Cuisine: Taste traditional Kazakh food and beverages served during the event.
  • Meet the Riders: Interact with the riders and learn about the history and significance of Kokpar.

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Almaty Marathon

The Almaty Marathon is a popular annual event that brings together athletes and running enthusiasts from around the world. The marathon offers various race categories, including full marathon, half marathon, and shorter distances, catering to participants of all fitness levels. The event not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also provides an opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Almaty on foot. Here are some highlights of the Almaty Marathon:

  • Multiple Race Categories: Choose from different race distances based on your fitness level.
  • Scenic Route: Run through the picturesque streets of Almaty and enjoy breathtaking views.
  • Spectator Support: Experience the lively atmosphere as spectators cheer on the participants.
  • Post-Race Festivities: Celebrate your achievement with fellow runners at the post-race festivities.
  • Charitable Cause: Many participants run for a charitable cause, contributing to the local community.

Shabyt International Music Festival

The Shabyt International Music Festival is a celebration of classical music and young talent. Held in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, this festival showcases the skills of young musicians from Kazakhstan and around the world. The festival includes various classical music performances, masterclasses, and competitions, offering a platform for young musicians to showcase their talent and gain recognition. Here are some highlights of the Shabyt International Music Festival:

  • Classical Music Performances: Attend concerts featuring talented young musicians and renowned artists.
  • Masterclasses: Learn from experienced musicians through educational masterclasses.
  • Competition: Witness the competition rounds where young musicians compete for prestigious awards.
  • Collaborative Performances: Enjoy unique collaborations between local and international musicians.
  • Musical Workshops: Participate in workshops and gain insights into various aspects of classical music.

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Astana Day

Astana Day is an annual celebration of the capital city of Kazakhstan, Astana, now known as Nur-Sultan. The festival commemorates the city’s transformation and development into a modern metropolis. During Astana Day, the city comes alive with various cultural performances, concerts, exhibitions, and fireworks. This festive occasion offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the city’s landmarks and immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere. Here are some highlights of Astana Day:

  • Cultural Performances: Experience traditional Kazakh music, dance, and theatrical performances.
  • City Tours: Take guided tours to explore the iconic landmarks and architectural marvels of Astana.
  • Exhibitions and Art Shows: Visit art exhibitions and galleries showcasing local and international artists.
  • Fireworks Display: Enjoy a spectacular fireworks display lighting up the night sky.
  • Food and Craft Stalls: Indulge in local cuisine and shop for traditional crafts at the festival stalls.

International Jazz Festival “Astana Jazz”

The International Jazz Festival “Astana Jazz” is a highly acclaimed event that attracts jazz enthusiasts from around the world. Held in Nur-Sultan, this festival showcases a diverse lineup of international jazz musicians, offering a platform for both established artists and emerging talents. The festival features concerts, jam sessions, and workshops, creating a vibrant atmosphere for jazz lovers. Here are some highlights of the International Jazz Festival “Astana Jazz”:

  • Jazz Concerts: Enjoy captivating performances by renowned jazz artists from around the world.
  • Jam Sessions: Participate in jam sessions and showcase your musical talent alongside professional musicians.
  • Workshops: Learn from jazz experts through educational workshops and interactive sessions.
  • Outdoor Performances: Experience the magic of jazz in open-air concerts held in scenic locations.
  • Jazz Club Nights: Immerse yourself in the jazz scene at local jazz clubs hosting special festival events.

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Baikonur Cosmodrome

Baikonur Cosmodrome is the world’s first and largest operational space launch facility located in Kazakhstan. It is used by Russia for space launches and has witnessed historic events in space exploration. Visitors to Baikonur Cosmodrome have the opportunity to witness space launches, visit the museum, and learn about the history and future of space exploration. Here are some highlights of Baikonur Cosmodrome:

  • Space Launches: Witness the awe-inspiring sight of a space launch from the viewing platform.
  • Museum: Explore the museum showcasing the history of space exploration and artifacts.
  • Cosmonaut Training Center: Visit the training center and learn about the rigorous preparations undertaken by cosmonauts.
  • Launch Pad Tours: Take guided tours to the launch pads and learn about the various space missions.
  • Astronaut Encounter: If you’re lucky, you may have the chance to meet and interact with astronauts.


Celebrating global festivals with locals in Kazakhstan offers a unique opportunity to embrace the vibrant Kazakh culture, immerse yourself in traditional customs, and create unforgettable memories. Whether it’s experiencing the nomadic lifestyle at Nomad Fest, enjoying winter activities at the Almaty Winter Festival, or exploring the world of cinema at the Eurasia International Film Festival, there is something for everyone in Kazakhstan’s diverse festival calendar. So, pack your bags, join the celebrations, and get ready to create lifelong memories in the heart of Central Asia.


– Nomad Fest: nomadfest.kz
– Almaty Winter Festival: almatywinterfestival.kz
– Eurasia International Film Festival: eurasiaiff.com
– Kazakh New Year: kazakhworld.com
– Kokpar Championship: kokpar.kz
– Almaty Marathon: almatymarathon.kz
– Shabyt International Music Festival: shabyt.kz
– Astana Day: astana.kz
– International Jazz Festival “Astana Jazz”: astanajazz.kz
– Baikonur Cosmodrome: baikonurcosmodrome.com

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