Azerbaijan asks: to celebrate or not to celebrate New Year's?
A week before the New Year, many in Azerbaijan have been wondering: will there be New Year’s trees?
There were rumors that the authorities had tacitly banned the celebration due to the fact the population is still mourning the victims of the war, but President Ilham Aliyev himself put an end to this issue, and the next day, the first trees appeared in Baku.
The Azerbaijani public is divided into two camps: some see nothing wrong with celebrating the New Year’s, others are sharply opposed to it.
Opponents of celebrating say that very little time has passed since the end of the second Karabakh war, during which time the Azerbaijani army lost over 2,800 servicemen.
MP against the New Year’s tree
Aydin Mirzazade, an MP from the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, on his Facebook page also sided with those who are against the celebration of the New Year’s Eve.
“You shouldn’t spend holidays when we have so many martyrs. We will not decorate the Christmas tree at home,” he wrote.
True, after a couple of days, the MP had to remove his post from social networks, because …
…the president showed off his own Christmas tree at home
On December 24, his birthday, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev together with his wife, first vice-president of the country Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the people and thanked everyone for their congratulations.
The head of state made his appeal against the backdrop of the New Year tree, thus putting an end to the issue of celebrating the New Year.
First Christmas trees appeared in Baku
The day after the President’s address, the first Christmas trees appeared in the capital of Azerbaijan. True, they are not as elegant as in previous years; there are no traditional garlands on the trees near the seaside boulevard.
JAMnews prepared a photo shoot from the streets of Baku, where there are Christmas trees – rare and unusually modest.