Since Nooruz started celebrated in Kyrgyz Republic, it is mostly associated with folk festivals, sweet delicacy – “sumolok” and fumigation of “archa”. Many of the traditions of Nooruz that exist today were born centuries ago, when Zoroastrianism pre-Islamic religion was widely spread in ancient Persia and Central Asia. Most of these traditions began when the ancient Persians started celebrating the beginning of New Year, the day of spring equinox, resurrection of nature after long winter months.
Some of the modern day customs and traditions of Nooruz celebration are:
“Sumolok”. There was a tradition to gather around the big pot “kazan” and expect a light chocolate sweet delcacy made from sprouted wheat with the addition of vegetable oil and flour. In the hungry times after winter, when there was no grain in the bins, the whole village collected the remains of sprouted wheat. Then, collected in a crushed form, they put it into a “kazan” and cooked a liquid dish. It is necessary to live with g ood intentions until a new crop, while saying: “This is our bread and livelihood.” The preparation of “sumolok” symbolizes unity.
“Alas, alas!” What do these magic words mean? This is a kind of spell which means “Go away!” addressed to sicknesses and misfortunes. These words Umai-ene (the Mother Earth) are used to expulsion of evil spirits, so that all the unpleasant things are left behind, the waiting for renewal, the call for purification. These words are accompanied by the fumigation of housing by “archa” – dried pine or juniper leaves.
Nooruz was the beginning of crops sowing. This day is also called the day of farming. On the day of the spring equinox, field works began, when the soil warmed up and the moisture in it was still enough. They were in the second half of March. Due to the seasonality of the work, the need to determine the time of sowing and harvesting of grain, the Kyrgyz people constantly observed the starry sky. The calendar of ancient Central Asian people used to start from March the beginning of flowering, the time when both day and night are equal.
Nowadays in rural regions of Kyrgyzstan people usually plant trees, dress elegantly, gather around the “dastorkon” a spread tablecloth and discuss the news, the future harvest and the offspring. On the eve of Nooruz each villager cleans and puts his house in order, pay off his debts, put up with all those whom he had a quarrel. That means, that new period should start without debts, offenses, with good intentions and the hope for a better life.
On 20th of March the International school of Medicine did not stay away from these traditions. The celebration of Nooruz started with show presented by students and teachers of ISM. Traditional folk songs and dances pleased and enchanted viewers.