Discover the best Uzbekistan Festivals ! From Music, Food, Arts & Comedy to Heritage and Folklore, Uzbekistan has the best festivals in Central Asia to offer.
Navruz is one of the most favorite holidays in Uzbekistan. Sometimes known as Persian New Year, Navruz is a chance to celebrate nature, to welcome a new year, and to enjoy flavorful food with friends, neighbors, and family.
Date: March 21
Boysun Bahori Spring Festival
“Boysun Bahori” in translation means “Boysun spring”. The history of this festival begins in the small town of Boysun, in southern Uzbekistan. The main feature of the city is that local residents still honor traditions and customs from distant pre-Islamic pagan cultures. The main theme of the festival is the preservation of Uzbek cultures. This is due to the fact that ancient rites and traditions in big cities are fading into the background. During the festival, participants try to show guests the beautiful heritage of the past, which is still preserved in Boysun.
Date: April 25-27
Location: Boysun (Surkhandarya region)
Silk and Spices Festival
The four-day Silk & Spices Festival is a celebration of local folk art as well as silk and spices, with lots of music and dance, plus acrobats and wrestling.
Date: May 29-31
Location: Bukhara old town
Kokand International Handicrafts Festival
The First International Handicrafts Festival was organized by non-profit Uzbekistan Handicraft Association on 10th-15th September 2019 in the ancient city Kokand. This International Handicrafts Festival gathered more than 600 artisans who came from more than 70 countries and more than 120 representatives of various Handicraft Organizations. The festival also includes a scientific-practical conference. The conference is dedicated to develop and prospect to handcraftsmanship.
Date: September 10-15
Location: Kokand (Fergana region)
Ulak or Kopkari
Ulak is a traditional nomad sport game played on horseback. The nomads were pretty good riders who could grab a goat from the ground while riding at gull speed. The main goal of a rider is to grab a goat and pitch it across a goal line or circle.
In persian speaking counties ulak is also known as Buzkashi, for example Afganistan or Tajikistan, while in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, it is referred to as Kok-boru.
Navruz (21st of March) is definitely the top date for kopkari and can be held anywhere in Uzbekistan.
Date: March 21
Location: Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya (Boysun), Samarkand (Urgut) and Bukhara regions.
Sharq Taranolari also known as Eastern Melodies Festival is the largest International Folk Music Festival and one of the most significant cultural events held in Central Asia. Held every two years at the end of August, it is staged in the open-air heart of the ancient city of Samarkand in magnificent Registan Square. Supported by UNESCO, Sharq Taronalari is the ideal venue to promote the cultural heritage of Uzbekistan and Central Asia. The city of Samarkand’s important role in history, its key position along the Silk Road and its treasure trove of architecture are showcased alongside the brilliant performances over the five-day festival.
Date: August 25-30
Location: Registan square, Samarkand.
STIHIA Music Festival
Stihia is electronic music, arts and science festival. It is an independent project incepted in 2017 in Uzbekistan with an aim to raise awareness about the environmental catastrophe of the Aral Sea. “Stihia” means “force of nature” and it comes from greek.
The Aral Sea was once the world’s fourth-largest saline lake. Over recent decades, man-made diversions have caused it to shrink to a mere shadow of its former size and created the most acute environmental problem in the Central Asian region.
While being primarily a music event, the project quickly grew into a solid movement and expanded its boundaries beyond playing techno sounds at the edge of the dead sea.
Stihia is a combination of several projects that include collaboration of musicians, artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs – all united to produce a spectacular blend of human interaction in one of the most unique places in the world.
Date: May 14-15 2021
Location: Stihia festival will be held at the Moynaq Ship Graveyard in Uzbekistan, where a monument commemorating the tragedy of the Aral Sea now stands.
Uzbekistan International Jazz Festival
The festival is organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the State Philharmonic of Uzbekistan, the Art and Culture Foundation Development of Uzbekistan, the jazz club of the “Ilkhom Theatre”, the UNESCO Office in Tashkent, the Municipality of Tashkent City, as well as with the support and participation of the embassies: France, Israel, India, Indonesia, Hungary, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Czech Republic in Uzbekistan.
Its goal is to provide an opportunity for musicians of Uzbekistan and those fr om abroad to show the diversity of jazz, to demonstrate intercultural dialogue through various events in Tashkent and other cities of the country.
Date: April 30
Shakhrisabz Maqom Festival
The International Maqom Festival is dedicated to the Maqom music. This music genre is of great importance for the Uzbek people. The maqom term is originated from the Arabic language and means “place” and, in the music perspective, “melody”. The Uzbek government decided to broadly promote throughout 4 days the Uzbek national maqom art, affirm respect among the younger generation and increase their interest in national classical music by inviting 73 bands from 73 countries. In total, about 300 participants. The aim was also to exchange best practices about this music genre – which, by the way, is UNESCO world heritage since 2003.
Date: September 6
International Lazgi Dance Festival
Lazgi Dance Festival will be held every two years in Itchan Kala with the aim of promoting national Uzbek art and attracting foreign travelers to Khiva.
Khorezm dance Lazgi has a special place in the rich history of Uzbek dancing art and cultural heritage. Having its unique style of performance, Lazgi is popular not only in Uzbekistan but also abroad.
Lazgi was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List on 12 December 2019, which also indicates the uniqueness of this art.
The Festival is expected to contribute to saving and developing the centuries-old art of the Khorezm dance Lazgi. It is also aimed at strengthening friendship and brotherhood relations between the nations by the means of dancing art, thus expanding the scope of creative cooperation and cultural relations on the international level.
Date: April 25-30
Location: Ithchan Kala, Khiva.
Gastro Bazaar Festival
Famous chefs and restaurateurs of Uzbekistan and neighboring countries, representatives of catering services from all over the country will take part in the festival.
Festival participants will be able to enjoy national dishes prepared in the style of each region, as well as taste dishes from other countries of the world.
The festival organizers have prepared playgrounds for children, recreation and public catering areas. It is also planned to conduct master classes with the participation of well-known domestic and foreign chefs, music, game shows and competitions with valuable prizes from the organizers and sponsors of the event.
Date: August 9-11
Qovun Sayli Festival
Qovun Sayli (Melon Festival), which is traditionally held in Khorezm on the eve of Independence Day, has kicked off in Khiva.Various varieties of melon are presented in a festively decorated pavilions reserved for each district and city.
Gourds of various varieties known around the world for their unforgettable taste, grown by experienced farmers of Khorezm, delight both the local population and foreign guests who came to the pearl of the East – Khiva.
A trade exhibition “Gurvak – a symbol of Khorezm melon production” is organized within the framework of the festival, held in order to attract attention of local and foreign tourists, as well as to increase their flow to the region. Melons, fresh and processed fruits, dried fruits are presented at the exhibition.
Farmers and practitioners are working to restore the lost and creation of new, export-oriented varieties of melon. A vivid example of this is the high-yielding melon varieties “Gurlan”, “Amudaryo”, “Gulobi Khorazmi”, “Sakhovat”, “Zargulobi”, which are resistant to various climatic conditions.
Participants of the event are becoming familiar with activities of specialists in the field.
Date: August 11-13
Location: Itchan Kala, Khiva.