Today is a major holiday for the Central Asian country, which became the Independent Republic of Uzbekistan on this day in 1991. Known as Mustaqillik Kuni in the Uzbek language, National Day is celebrated with feasts and shows in parks and public squares, including music, folk dancing, and displays of local crafts like blue ceramics and woven carpets. The biggest of these parties takes place in the capital city Tashkent, where the President speaks at Alisher Navoi National Park. There’s music during the day and fireworks in the evening.
All over Uzbekistan, families celebrate their National Day by enjoying traditional dishes like plov, the national dish, which includes rice, mutton, onion, and grated carrot. Kurt (sour milk balls) and samsa (meat pastries) are also popular treats.The end of summer brings sweet watermelons which are sure to be found at many National Day feasts.
The flag of Uzbekistan seen in today’s Doodle has 12 stars, which correspond to the months of the year and the constellations of the zodiac. The stars are also a reference to the long Uzbek history of astronomy. In the ornate, blue-tiled city of Samarkand, ruins of Uzbek astronomer Ulugh Beg’s observatory are still preserved from the 1400s. Beg and his astronomers pioneered many fundamental astronomical and calendric equations, measuring the sun’s path around the world and its angle relative to the equator.
Patriotic spirit runs high in Uzbekistan on National Day, and there’s a lot of be proud of, particularly the region’s rich history of academic and cultural achievements.
Happy National Day, Uzbekistan!