The Afghans have always celebrated their festivals with dollops of enthusiasm. Afghan festivals can broadly be categorised into three types: Traditional, National and Religious. Nauroz is the largest and best known festival of Afghanistan. Jeshyn-Afghan Day, a national day, is observed on 19August. Most Afghans have adopted Islam as their religion and celebrate all their religious festivals with devotion and zeal.
10th Day of the month of Muharram
Musharram commemorates the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Imam Hussain or Husayn bin Ali, whom Shias regard as the rightful successor the Prophet. Muharram is the first month month day of Islamic calendar. Ashura is the tenth day of this month of mourning.
Nau Roz (New year Festival)
January-March (Date variable according to Islamic calendar)
Nau Roz is the largest and best known festival in Afghanistan, particularly in Mazar e Sharif, where it is called Gul e Sorkh. Buzkashi matches are held. People play music and dance. Farmers express their joy for the produce.
Mawleed al Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Muhammad)
March-May (Date variable according to Islamic calendar)
People offer special prayers in the mosques and remember the reverred Prophet. They also visit or entertain family and friends.
1 May (Annual)
Labor Day is the lagacy of Soviet era. It is a national holiday.
Jeshyn-Afghan Day (Independence Day)
19 August (Annual)
The British relinquished their control on the foreign affairs of Afghanistan. It is celebrated as Independence Day.
September-November (Date variable according to Islamic calendar)
During the holy month of Ramadan Afghans don’t take food or drink during the day.
Eid e Fitr (End of Ramadan)
October-December (Date variable according to Islamic calendar)
After month long fasting people enjoy the feast of Eid ul Fitr. People pray collectively in mosques, and then go to meet their friends and relatives. They wear new clothes and eat sweet dishes.
Eid e Qurban
December-February (Date variable according to Islamic calendar)
Eid e Qurban marks the commencement of Haj or Muslim pilgrimage. Animals like sheep, goats or camels are sacrificed for the feast of Eid e Qurban.
Mushaira or Orange Blossom Festival is held on 13 April every year in Jalalabad. Picnics and music concerts are held under the orange trees and near the shrines. Apple Blossom Festivals ia held to celebrate the herald of spring in Wardak province 23 April every year.
It is public holiday in Afghanistan on Eid e Fitr, Eid e Qorban, Nowroz, Ashura, Labour Day, Independence Day, Prophet’s Birthday, Independence Festival, Pushtunistan Day, National Assembly Day, Deliverance Day, and the first day of Ramadan.