Kazakhstan’s Capital City Day is an official public holiday celebrated on July 6. It was founded in 2009 and is held to honor Kazakhstan’s capital city, Nur-Sultan (formerly known as Astana). The festival also falls on the birthday of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
On July 6, 1994, Kazakhstan’s Supreme Council passed a resolution relocating the country’s capital from Almaty to Akmola. On May 6, 1998, Akmola was renamed Astana and elevated to the status of the capital city. On July 18, 2008, the government passed legislation declaring Capital Day a state holiday.
History of Capital City Day
Capital City Day, also known as Day of Nur-Sultan (Astana), is a public holiday observed on July 6 in Kazakhstan. Capital City Day marks the transition of Kazakhstan’s capital from Almaty to Astana. In March 2019, Astana was renamed Nur-Sultan after longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who stepped down as president after 30 years in charge.
Following the fall of the Soviet Union, it was announced that the capital would be relocated to Akmola, Kazakhstan’s historical capital. As a result, on July 6, 1994, Kazakhstan’s capital was relocated from Almaty to Akmola. Akmola, which means ‘white grave’ in Kazakh, was renamed Astana on May 6, 1998, which means ‘capital city.’
On the occasion of Astana’s 10th anniversary in 2008, July 6 was declared a national holiday. Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s former president, was born on July 6. Nur-Sultan is Kazakhstan’s second-largest city, located in the Akmola region, yet it is administered separately from the region as the city with special capital status.
Astana began celebrating Capital City Day almost immediately after becoming its capital city, but it wasn’t until 2009 that Kazakhstan as a whole began to do so. The original date of June 10 was based on when Astana’s actual status as the capital city was enacted, whereas the new date of July 6 is based on the date of the acceptance to move the capital to Astana.
Despite its name, Capital City Day is intended to commemorate Kazakhstan’s independence and culture. The sharp contrast between Astana’s skyscrapers and the wide nomadic plains with only little settlements for hundreds of miles in every direction helps to remind you how different the country truly is.
Capital City Day timeline
On July 6, Kazakhstan's Supreme Council passes a resolution relocating the country's capital from Almaty to Akmola.
On May 6, Akmola is renamed Astana and elevated to the status of the capital city.
On July 18, the government passes a law establishing Capital Day as a state holiday.
Kazakhstan's Capital City Day is founded.
Capital City Day FAQs
What makes Kazakhstan unique?
Kazakhstan possesses the world’s second-largest lead, zinc, chromium, and uranium deposits. It is also a top 10 producer of coal, iron, copper, manganese, and gold around the globe. Kazakhstan also has a huge supply of petroleum and natural gas, with the eleventh-largest proven reserve in the world.
Are there heritage sites in Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan boasts three Unesco World Heritage sites — the Saryarka plains, a renowned bird watching site; Tamgaly, which remains home to over 5,000 ancient carvings, and the Khoja Ahmed Yasawi Mausoleum.
What does the Kazakhstan flag symbolize?
The ancient Turkic peoples worshiped the Sky as their God, and their blue-sky banner represented their love for Father Ancestor. The blue color of Kazakhstan’s State Flag denotes pristine sky, serenity, and prosperity, while the self-color of the background represents the country’s togetherness.
Capital City Day Activities
Attend a variety of events
Various cultural and public festivals, as well as athletic tournaments, are traditionally organized throughout the country. Attend one if you are in the area.
Discuss it on social media
Share your discoveries and comments about the day on social media to raise awareness and spark discussion. Make use of the proper hashtags.
The Astana Opera organizes live concerts featuring national orchestras that perform traditional music. It’s the perfect chance to soak in some good theater.
5 Fascinating Facts About Kazakhstan
The original city name
It was formerly recognized as Akmolinsk, derived directly from the Kazakh term ‘Akmola,’ which means "holy location" but translates as "white tombstone."
Kazakhstan is a transcontinental territory.
Although they are still consumed as food, Kazakstans revere horses.
In Kazakh, Astana means "capital city."
Kazakhstan is entirely landlocked, which means it has no direct access to the sea.
Why We Love Capital City Day
Always have peace in mind
Kazakhstan places a strong emphasis on multi-ethnic harmony. It is an example of the ideal multicultural society that maintains peace and harmony.
Capital City Day is also a celebration of freedom. Kazakhstan happens to be among the few post-Soviet Union territories that avoided inter-tribal conflicts.
It improves our understanding of Kazakhstan's history
Capital City Day encourages us to study more about previous events that defined the country and sharpen our understanding of its history.
Capital City Day dates