The principal holidays in Uzbekistan today are Navruz and the Independence Day.
The Independence Day is celebrated on 1 September since 1991, when Uzbekistan gained the status of an independent country. This day is distinguished by large numbers of people walking in the streets of every town and village, listening to folk bands and partaking of the holiday feast.
The tradition of celebrating Navruz has come from the Zoroastrian times. This day is celebrated on 21 March and marks the beginning of a new year. On this occasion people are dressed in the best clothes and cook the best meals. All, regardless of age and sex, take part in the celebration: people visit each other’s homes, make presents and congratulate one another on the coming spring. On this day all grievances must be forgotten, and all who have been quarrelling must be reconciled. Sumalak, a jelly-like meal of wheat grains that have started to give shoots, is a special treat at Navruz.