Independence Day in Kazakhstan in 2024

Independence Day in Kazakhstan in 2024
Astana, Kazakhstan. Image via Deposit Photos
  How long until Independence Day?
Independence Day
  Dates of Independence Day in Kazakhstan
2025 Dec 16, Dec 17
KazakhstanWed, Dec 17National Holiday
KazakhstanTue, Dec 16National Holiday
2024 Dec 16, Dec 17
KazakhstanTue, Dec 17National Holiday
KazakhstanMon, Dec 16National Holiday
2023 Dec 16, Dec 17, Dec 18
KazakhstanMon, Dec 18National Holiday (in lieu)
KazakhstanSun, Dec 17National Holiday
KazakhstanSat, Dec 16National Holiday
2022 Dec 16, Dec 19
KazakhstanMon, Dec 19National Holiday (additional day)
KazakhstanFri, Dec 16National Holiday
2021 Dec 16, Dec 17
KazakhstanFri, Dec 17National Holiday
KazakhstanThu, Dec 16National Holiday

Kazakhstan Independence Day marks the independence of Kazakhstan on December 16th 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

When is Kazakhstan Independence Day?

This day is the National Holiday of Kazakhstan and is celebrated annually on December 16th. If December 16th falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be a holiday.

This is a two-day celebration with December 17th also a holiday. The holiday period may also be extended in some years with a third day depending on which days of the week December 16th falls.

The holiday marks the independence of Kazakhstan on December 16th 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

History of Kazakhstan Independence Day

Historically the Kazak region had been an area populated by nomadic tribes. In the 18th century, the Russian Empire made advances into the region, controlling the whole of Kazakhstan by the middle of the 19th century.

After the Russian revolution in 1917 and the creation of the Soviet Union, civil war erupted in the region with various attempts to bring the people in the region together. Finally, in 1936, the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic was formed.

The Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Kazakh SSR (Soviet Socialist Republic) was adopted, representing the country’s first step toward its independence, on October 25th 1990. The declaration became a legal basis for developing and adopting the Constitutional Law on Independence of Kazakhstan in 1991.

The document established the fundamental principles of sovereignty – unitary state, integrity, indivisibility and inviolability of its territory, revival and development of culture, traditions, the language and strengthening of national identity, legal equality, and equal opportunities for representatives of all nations and nationalities, political pluralism and other principles.

The country became a sovereign state after the Supreme Council adopted the constitutional law “On State Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan” on December 16th 1991 

Nursultan Nazarbayev was elected the First President of Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence, four days after Russia, meaning that for a short period of time, Kazakhstan was the entire Soviet Union.

Did you know?

Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country by land area

The day is also a time to remember the victims of the events of December 1986.

Resentment against the replacement of the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR Dinmukhamed Konayev with Gennady Kolbin from the Russian SFSR erupted into mass demonstrations by young ethnic Kazakhs in December 1986. Government troops suppressed the unrest, resulting in the deaths of several people and the incarceration of many demonstrators.

How is Kazakhstan Independence Day celebrated?

In a nation that is home to over 130 ethnic groups, Independence Day is an opportunity for the people of Kazakhstan to celebrate their multicultural history and culture. 

Kazakhstan Independence Day is marked by festivities in the presidential palace and many Kazakhs will dress up in traditional clothes. Kurts (traditional tents) will be set up in many villages where local delicacies will be served.

"The Independence Day is an epoch-making and the most important holiday for all Kazakhstanis," the Head of State said in his congratulatory speech on the eve of the national holiday in 2018.

"27 years ago we have made a fateful decision, we have embarked on the way of sovereign development and building the independent country," the President said.

"The era of independence unveiled boundless perspectives and unique opportunities for development and growth. We have created an efficient system of state administration meeting modern global challenges. We have earned respect and confidence of the entire international community thanks to our shrewd and open policy," the Head of State stressed.

On the eve of Independence Day, it is tradition for the government to honor outstanding Kazakh figures in the fields of culture, sports, education, and health for their contributions to the country. 

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