Experience Novruz in Azerbaijan

Mar 08, 2020 by Azerbaijan Tourism

Retreat to Azerbaijan during Novruz to welcome the spring season

Azerbaijan is gearing up for spring with its most lively celebration of the new season. As the country’s most cherished holiday, Novruz Bayram marks the arrival of spring and the beginning of the astronomical New Year. Say farewell to the old year and celebrate new beginnings as you witness nature come alive.


The Novruz festival in Azerbaijan is sure to leave you amazed with a plethora of events and festivities to make an unforgettable experience. Dance, feast and prepare for the physical and spiritual renewal that the spring season brings.


Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Azerbaijan is closer than you think. With daily flights from Qatar Airways, you can be in the Caucasus country in less than 3 hours. Grab your travel partner and immerse yourself in a world of lively traditions and festivities.


Get the most out of your spring escapade by experiencing these vibrant cultural highlights in Azerbaijan: 


Learn of our ties to fire

Azerbaijan has several ties to fire and ancient Zoroastrian history. Join the exciting rituals and jump over a bonfire to leave your troubles behind and purify your soul going into the new year. After sunset, dance around a bonfire to celebrate with family and friends.


Savour the sweets from the khoncha (xonça)

Treat yourself to the delicious sweets from a khoncha (xonça), one of the essential parts of Novruz. The beautifully decorated tray, with samani (green sprouting wheat) placed in the center, is filled with nuts, candles, treats and sweets, each of which has a symbolic meaning. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the goodness of goghal, shekerbura, pakhlava, badambura, filled with almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and organic honey. It is noteworthy that these sweets have an ancient significance as the round-shaped, yellow-coloured goghal represents the sun, while half-circled shekerbura symbolizes the moon. Pahklava signifies both sky and stars as the seven layers of diamond-shaped dough are meant to represent the layers of the sky and hazelnut in the center represents the stars.


Appreciate the four elements

This Novruz, reconnect with nature in Azerbaijan. It is one of a few countries where you can see all of nature’s four elements symbolised by the Caspian Sea, the burning mountain of Yanardag, Gobustan and Baku, which rightly earned its title as the city of winds. Every year in the last four weeks before Novruz, every Tuesday (Charshanba) is devoted to celebrating these elements. It is believed that on the first Charshanba, still waters start moving and water is renewed. On the second Charshanba, bonfires are kindled and on the third, the warm breeze brings life to water and fire. The last Tuesday, known as “Akhir Charshanba”, represents the time when the trees flower new leaves and spring finally begins.


Enjoy the family festivals

Prepare to be enthralled by the vibrant festivities. With traditional melodies filling the air, pehlevans (wrestlers) going head to head, ropewalkers finessing their skills and comedy performances held on the streets, and children getting themselves busy with hat throwing (papagatdi - children knock on neighbors' or relatives’ doors and leave their hats behind it and hide waiting secretly for candies, pastry and nuts), the atmosphere is bright and festive.


Bask in the local atmosphere

Bright with traditions and colorful with food and sweets, Novruz celebrations take place all across the country in regions such as Sheki, Shamakhi, Nakhchivan, Guba, and Ganja. Experience the festivities in the regions or enjoy the holiday excitement in Icherisheher, Baku’s medieval walled city full of old-world charm.