Five-day holiday begins in Azerbaijan
Starting from today until next Tuesday, the majority of working citizens of Azerbaijan will have a short respite, thanks to Ramadan and National Salvation Day.
The religious holiday of Ramadan is celebrated this year on 15 and 16 June, coinciding with another official holiday – National Salvation Day, which is also celebrated on 15 June. As the 16th of June is a Saturday, 18 and 19 June are also considered non-working days according to the Labor Code of Azerbaijan. In total, people in Azerbaijan will have five days of rest.
Ramadan is a month of fasting for Muslims. During this month, faithful Muslims abstain from eating and drinking, as well as from smoking and intimate actions during the day. Eating and drinking is allowed only before dawn and after dusk.
This fasting does not have a fixed date, and moves back a little bit every year. The Ramadan calendar is composed every year by the Office of Muslims of the Caucasus and the Shemakha Astrophysical Observatory.
The fasting ends with the holiday of the same name. The goal of fasting is to completely abandon ‘worldly’ needs and temptations, allowing oneself to demonstrate the power of faith and harness one’s instincts and passions. In addition to the limitations of physical needs, during this month it is also prescribed to refrain from bad thoughts and actions. It is believed that fasting helps cleanse the soul and earn the approval of Allah.
At the governmental level, this holiday has been celebrated in Azerbaijan since 1993, after the collapse of the USSR and, accordingly, the end of atheistic ideology.
The number of fasting people is increasing every year, although there are frequent disputes on how to observe the fast and what actions can break it.
The Day of National Salvation – a holiday connected with Heydar Aliyev, the former president (and the father of the current president) of Azerbaijan, returning to power on 15 June 1993. He had headed the country from 1969 to 1982 in Soviet times as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Azerbaijani SSR.
In 1993 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was an energy crisis in Azerbaijan, along with all other possible crises and the war with Armenia. It is believed that the return of Heydar Aliyev, who later remained in office until his death in 2003, had put an end to this crisis.
This day became a state holiday in 1998 (during the lifetime of Heydar Aliyev).
In connection with the long holidays, the railway moved to a special mode of operation as many metropolitan residents leave for the countryside or travel to neighboring Tbilisi.