Nauruz, the modern Kazakh word for New Year, comes from Persian "nau-new, ruz-year".
Before that New Year was called "Ulys kuni" meaning tribe or clan day.
The tradition of reconciliation between relatives around a festive table, exchange of
presents and good wishes was set for this day.
The beginning of the year is announced by the appearance of greenery.
The patient resistance to the winter hardships has come to an end, and now, with the coming of
spring it is time to participate in the life-giving festival.
The main ritual dish of this festival is nauryz-kozheh. Nauryz - kozheh always includes
seven ingredients, signifying the seven life beginnings - water, meat, salt, fat, flour, cereal
(rice, corn, wheat) and milk.
They symbolize joy, luck, wisdom, health, wealth, speed growth and Heavenly protection.
If milk symbolizes the new year, the old year is symbolized by meat, particularly smoked meat
from the reserves of the past year.
In spring people are in a hurry to revive themselves both physically and spiritually,
liquidate their debts, get rid of old unwanted things, repair clothes, the house, water
canals and wells, ask for forgiveness for past wrongs, reconcile with neighbours, invite
guests and present relatives with gifts.
Everyone has to visit seven houses and invite seven guests to his home.
"Koktem tudy" (spring is born) say Kazakhs today and meet Nauryz in the streets, squares, parks and stadiums.
Thousands of people witness sharp verbal competitions of akyns, contests in national
sports - kazakhsha-kyres, toguz kumalak, horse competitions like Kyz-Kuu, Baiga.
Various dramatized shows and theatrical marches, presenting national customs and rituals
attract people and teach them to respect nation al culture and native land, promote
rapprochement and mutual understanding of different nations.