Defender's Day in Kazakhstan in 2025

Defender's Day in Kazakhstan in 2025
Kazakhstan Armed Forces Flag. Image via Office Holidays
  How long until Defender's Day?
Defender's Day
  Dates of Defender's Day in Kazakhstan
2025 Kazakhstan Wed, May 7 National Holiday
2024 Kazakhstan Tue, May 7 National Holiday
2023 Kazakhstan Mon, May 8 National Holiday (in lieu)
2022 Kazakhstan Tue, May 10 National Holiday (in lieu)
2021 Kazakhstan Fri, May 7 National Holiday

May 7th honours all those who have served in the Kazakh armed forces past and present

  Local name
Отан Қорғаушы күні

When is Defender's Day?

Defender's Day is a public holiday in Kazakhstan celebrated on May 7th.

If May 7th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, a public holiday will be observed on the following Monday.

Also known as Fatherland Defenders’ Day and Defender of the Fatherland Day, this holiday honours the role of the Kazakh armed forces in establishing and maintaining the nationhood of Kazakhstan.

History of Defender's Day

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan gained its independence in December 1991.

The new-found independence meant the need for Kazakhstan to protect itself and on May 7th 1992, President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the Decree that established the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan. On the same day, the President enacted the transformation of the State Committee of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan into the Ministry of Defence, giving Sagadat Nurmagambetov the military rank of Colonel-General, and the appointment of the General-Colonel Nurmagambetov as Defence Minister of Kazakhstan.

From the 1990s Defender's Day had been a holiday only for military personnel. In 2012, marking the 20th anniversary, the law was amended to declare it a national holiday for all Kazakhs.

Despite being called Defender of the 'Fatherland' Day, thousands of women serve in the Kazakh Armed Forces, so this is not a purely 'male' holiday in Kazakhstan.

The holiday is celebrated with military parades, demonstrations, concerts, shows and festive events across the country. It has become an annual tradition that on this day the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan issues a decree on awarding new military ranks and presents awards to distinguished military men.

This holiday is followed two days later with Victory Day, which celebrates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany and the end of the Second World War, making this a very patriotic time of year.

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