Capital City Day in Kazakhstan
Capital City Day, also known as Day of Nur-Sultan (Astana) is a public holiday in Kazakhstan and is celebrated on July 6th.
If July 6th falls on a weekend, a public holiday will be observed on the following Monday. If July 6th falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, an additional day’s holiday may be observed to create a long weekend.
Capital City Day commemorates the switch of the capital of Kazakhstan from Almaty to Astana.
In March 2019, Astana was renamed Nur-Sultan, in honour of veteran leader Nursultan Nazarbayev who resigned as President after 30 years as the country’s leader.
History of Capital City Day
When Kazakhstan was part of the Soviet Union, the capital of the country was Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the intention was stated to move the capital back to the historical capital of Kazakhstan, Akmola. Thus on July 6th 1994, the capital of Kazakhstan was moved from Almaty to Akmola
On May 6th 1998 Akmola was renamed Astana, which means “the capital city” in Kazakh. Akmola means “white grave” in Kazakh.
On Astana’s 10th anniversary in 2008, July 6th was made a national holiday. July 6th is also the birthday of the former President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Nur-Sultan is the second-largest city in Kazakhstan and is located in Akmola region, though it is administrated separately from the region as the city with special capital status.
The modern part of Nur-Sultan is a planned city similar to Brasilia in Brazil and Canberra in Australia. The plans for this part of Astana were designed by the renowned Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa.
Nur-Sultan will celebrate its day with a fireworks display and a laser show.