Every 1 May is Labour Day, May Day, or International Workers Day in many countries around the world. And during Soviet Union days, it was Workers Day in Kazakhstan SSR as well. But soon after independence in 1991, Kazakhstan kept the 1 May date but switched the holiday name to “Kazakhstan People Solidarity Day” or simply “Unity Day”.
|2019||1 May||Wed||Kazakhstan People Solidarity Day|
|2020||1 May||Fri||Kazakhstan People Solidarity Day|
The reason for this change may have been, in part, to avoid association with Soviet era Communist ideology promoted on International Workers Day, but it was also to form a day of national unity. Given that there are over 130 ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan, as well as linguistic, cultural, and religious diversity, it is important to emphasise unity and peace among Kazakhstan’s peoples.
On Kazakhstan People Solidarity Day, there are a number of events held all over the country, but Almaty and Astana are the cities with the biggest celebrations. In Astana, hundreds of singers and artists from numerous ethnic groups will gather, share cultural foods, and compete in sports events. In Almaty, a similar event takes place where each ethnic group sets up its own “room” where you can try its cuisine and learn about its culture and history.