National Holidays of Azerbaijan
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Azerbaijan - Baku: Military band playing al fresco - Republic day celebrations on Fountain square - May 28th - National Holiday - photo by N.Mahmudova

You may hear complaints about Azeri salaries but none about their holidays. Bank and religious holidays are generously spread along the year. There is even an holiday dedicated to the Azerbaijani Armed Forces... maybe to celebrate future events.
 
Name of Holiday Date
New Year's Day January 1
Day of Shehids (1990 massacre) January 20
International Women's Day March 8
Novruz Bayram March 22
Victory Day May 9
Day of The Republic (independence day in 1918) May 28
National Army Day June 26
Day of National Salvation
(a bit of personality cult: celebrates Heydar Aliyev's return to the leadership of the Republic)
June 15
Day of Armed Forces October 9
Day of State Sovereignty (independence day in 1991) October 18
Constitution Day November 12
Day of National Revival
(signals the Nationalist demonstrations of 1988)
November 17
Universal Azeri Solidarity Day
(marks the '1st World Congress of the Azeri people' in Istanbul, in 1992)
December 31
Gourban Bayramy (Eid-al-Adha: feast of sacrifice) varies: see Hijri Calendar below
Orudjlug Bayramy (Eid-al-Fitr : end of Ramadan) varies: see Hijri Calendar below

'bayram' = holiday, festival

The Gregorian calendar dates for the most relevant Islamic events are indicated below, the dates were calculated using our calendar converter and Islamic Timer 2.01 programme (free software download, please see below). These dates are obviously subject to change, subject to sighting of the moon.
 
Event
Gregorian date
Hegira date
2012
Ramadan 
Eid al Fitr 
Eid al Adha 
Islamic New Year
July 21 to August 20, 2012 AD
August 19, 2012 AD
    October 26, 2012 AD
  November 15, 2012 AD
1 Ramadan 1433 AH
1 Shawwal 1433 AH
10 Zul Hijjah 1433 AH
1 Muharram 1434 AH


 





IslamicTimer is a software package consisting of programs for generating Islamic (Hijri) Calendars, translating Gregorian / Julian dates to / from dates in the Islamic Calendar, computing prayer time schedules, and for determining the direction of the Qiblah. It also includes a prayers time reminder/notification service. Click to download IslamicTimer, courtesy of AZERB.COM

The Islamic Calendar, which is based purely on lunar cycles, was first introduced in 638 C.E. by the close companion of the Prophet and the second Caliph, `Umar ibn Al-KHaTTab (592-644 C.E.).  He did it in an attempt to rationalize the various, at times conflicting, dating systems used during his time.  `Umar consulted with his advisors on the starting date of the new Muslim chronology.  It was finally agreed that the most appropriate reference point for the Islamic calendar was the "Hijrah".  The actual starting date for the Calendar was chosen (on the basis of purely lunar years, counting backwards) to be the first day of the first month (1 MuHarram) of the year of the Hijrah.  The Islamic (Hijri) calendar  (with dates that fall within the Muslim Era) is usually abbreviated A.H. in Western languages from the latinized "Anno Hegirae".  MuHarram 1, 1 A.H. corresponds to July 16, 622 C.E.

The Hijrah, which chronicles the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from Makkah to Madinah in September 622 C.E., is the central historical event of early Islam.  It led to the foundation of the first Muslim city-state, a turning point in Islamic and world history.

The Islamic (Hijri) year consists of twelve (purely lunar) months. They are: (1) MuHarram; (2) Safar; (3) Raby` al-awal; (4) Raby` al-THaany; (5) Jumaada al-awal; (6) Jumaada al-THaany; (7) Rajab; (8) SHa`baan;
(9) RamaDHaan; (10) SHawwal; (11) Thw al-Qi`dah; and (12) Thw al-Hijjah.

The most important dates in the Islamic (Hijri) year are: 1 MuHarram (Islamic new year);  27 Rajab (Isra & Miraj);  1 RamaDHaan (first day of fasting);  17 RamaDHan (Nuzul Al-Qur'an);  Last 10 days of RamaDHaan which include Laylatu al-Qadar;  1 SHawwal (`iyd al-FiTr);  8-10 Thw al-Hijjah (the Hajj to Makkah);  and 10 Thw al-Hijjah (`iyd al-'aDHHae).

Since the Islamic calendar is purely lunar, as apposed to solar or luni-solar, the Muslim (Hijri) year is shorter than the Gregorian year by about 11 days, and months in the Islamic (Hijri) year are not related to seasons, which are fundamentally related to the solar cycle.  This means that important Muslim festivals, which always fall in the same Hijri month, may occur in different seasons.  For example, the Hajj and RamDHaan can take place in the summer as well as the winter.  It is only over a 33 year cycle that lunar months take a complete turn and fall during the same season.

source: Waleed Muhanna
 
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