Yesterday, November 7th, is an officially recognized public holiday in Kyrgyzstan. And, just like in the U.S., when a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the obligatory day off is rolled over to Monday.
So, Happy Revolution Day!
We all know that Kyrgyzstan has had a couple revolutions in the past several years (the so-called “Tulip Revolution” and the most recent one in April). Is that what we’re celebrating?
Well, it was kind of a big deal when Kyrgyzstan gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. We’re commemorating that, right?
We’re currently celebrating the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917. It eventually led to the formation of the Soviet Union.
(And they had a different calendar system back then, so don’t worry, it totally makes sense to celebrate the October Revolution in November.)
Revolution Day used to be an official holiday throughout the entire Soviet Union. Which makes sense, because, you know, it was an important day in USSR history. But with its dissolution, what’s the point?
Ask Kyrgyzstan and Belarus, the only two countries that still celebrate it.
I’m guessing the answer is something along the lines of, “Well, we just wanted another day off from work. Let’s go drink some vodka.”
And yes, Kyrgyzstan also celebrates its independence from the Soviet Union. August 31, Independence Day.
(Who says the Kyrgyz are lazy?)
Farrell and I celebrated by taking our first excursion outside of Bishkek! Once I hijack some pictures from our Belgian friends and figure out where we actually went (and tend to Farrell, he took a tumble down a mountain), I’ll write a more descriptive post about our Revolution Day activities.