A kazakh tradition within the scope of discussions on invention and revival of the tradition: Amal merekesi-körisüv küni (amal holiday / meeting day) Geleneğin icadi ve yeniden canlandirilmasi tartişmalari ekseninde bir kazak geleneği: Amal merekesi-körisüv küni (amal bayrami/görüşme günü)*

Kinaci C., Balci Ü. F.

Milli Folklor, vol.2020, no.125, pp.46-59, 2020 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2020 Issue: 125
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Name: Milli Folklor
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Sociological abstracts, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.46-59
  • Keywords: Amal Merekesi / Körisüv Küni (Amal Holiday / Meeting Day), Invention of tradition, Kazakh, National identity, Nauryz
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


© 2020, Milli Folklor Dergisi. All rights reserved.Kazakhstan, which gained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, attracts attention with its state policy emphasizing its national elements. In Kazakhstan, under the leadership of its founding President Nursultan Nazarbayev, activities are being carried out to strengthen the common Turkish identity and Kazakh national identity. The national culture of the Kazakh people is seen as an important resource for strengthening the Kazakh national identity. In this context, the state attaches great importance to the celebration of special days and national holidays peculiar to Kazakh people. One of these Kazakh holidays is called Amal Merekesi / Körisüv Küni (Amal Holiday/ Meeting Day). This tradition is celebrated in Kazakhstan on March 14, one week before the Nauryz Festival. The Körisüv Küni tradition is very similar to the Nauryz Festival. This holiday is celebrated when the winter ends on March 13 and the Amal (Hamal) month, which is a spring month, begins on March 14 in line with the solar calendar. Therefore, this festival is also called Amal Merekesi (Amal Holiday). On the other hand, the holiday is also called Körisüv Küni (Meeting Day) due to Kazakh's nomadic way of living. This name was given because after the long winter people meet in the spring. This holiday is widely celebrated today, especially in Western Kazakhstan. Local governments in western regions organize events that highlight this holiday. Körisüv Küni is mainly a local holiday, but the Kazakh government has been trying to spread this holiday throughout the country in the last few years. This article provides information about the Körisüv Küni tradition of the Kazakh people. The history of Körisüv Küni, its celebration and rituals performed during this holiday have been examined. This article discussed how this holiday was celebrated in the past and how it is celebrated today. How Körisüv Küni became a nation-wide national holiday from being a local tradition has also been presented. The article focuses on how and why this holiday was transformed from a local holiday to a national one. Moreover, answers have been sought to the following questions by collecting opinions of people living in different parts of Kazakhstan: What does Körisüv Küni mean for Kazakh people today, has this holiday really changed from a local tradition to a national holiday according to Kazakh public, how did this tradition come about, has this tradition been invented or is it a tradition that existed locally and changed to a national tradition? Interview data collected from the people living in different parts of Kazakhstan and other available data give the impression that Körisüv Küni is an invented tradition based on the Nauryz Festival. In the past, people could not celebrate the Nauryz Festival in the Soviet era because the Russian intensity of population and oppression was felt more in the Western regions; therefore, they preserved all the rituals of Nauryz Festival and celebrated the festival by naming it "Körisüv Küni" in order not to disturb the Soviet authorities. In 1988, the date of the Nauryz Festival was fixed on March 21-22, but people continued to celebrate Nauryz on March 14 in the public memory as Körisüv Küni. Nowadays, Körisüv Küni is quite suitable to be used as an argument for strengthening the Kazakh national identity in terms of its content. The rituals within the holiday that strengthen the national identity have been effective in the decision of the state to spread the holiday to whole country. Körisüv Küni, which strengthens the national identity of the Kazakh people and has helped to promote the elements peculiar to the Kazakh people, is an important and unique tradition for the Kazakh people today.