Religious Holidays

Religious holidays are especially important in countries with a prevailingly dominant religion. Most SRAS countries fit this description: Russia and Ukraine are 71% and 67% Orthodox, respectively; Kyrgyzstan is 83% Muslim; and Poland is an astonishing 93% Catholic. Religious holidays, therefore, are often recognized by the state and given as days off and they play a large role in defining the country’s calendar and identity. In most countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, these holidays are observed as purely religious. Santa Claus figures are largely relegated to holidays other than Christmas and the Easter Bunny is almost entirely absent. Minority holidays celebrated by smaller percentages of the population are also presented below.

Ramadan and Eid in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Ramadan is the Muslim holy month when followers are expected to fast, not drinking or eating from sunrise to sunset. During this month, daily life is molded around the fast. Ramadan ends with Eid al-Fitr, a feast and celebration. Kyrgyzstan is a majority Muslim nation and Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr are major parts of the […]

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