Rudaki Day in Tajikistan Date in the current year: September 22, 2024

Rudaki Day in Tajikistan Rudaki Day is observed in Tajikistan annually on September 22. The holiday was established by President Emomali Rahmon in 2002. It celebrates the renowned Persian poet Abu Abd Allah Rudaki, who is considered a founder of classical Persian and Tajik literature.

Abu Abd Allah Ja’far ibn Muhammad Rudaki, often referred to mononymously as Rudaki, was born circa 860. Little is known about his early life. Most biographers agree that he received education in his native village, but left it at some point in life and went to Samarkand, where he eventually became a poet at the court of the ruling Samanid dynasty.

It is known that Rudaki was well-educated and fluent not only in Persian, but also in Arabic. He also had excellent knowledge of the Quran. According to Persian historian and author Muhammad Aufi, Rudaki memorized the entire Quran when he was eight years old.

For several decades, Rudaki enjoyed the favor of the Samanid emirs; he was highly honored and amassed great wealth. Sometimes referred to as “Adam of Poets”, he was a very prolific author who composed narrative poems, qasidas, ruba’is, ghazals, and other forms of poetry.

Rudaki is believed to have composed about 180,000 beits (couplets) during his lifetime, although some claim that he authored 1,300,000 beits. However, only 52 of his qasidas, ghazals and ruba’is collectively amounting to approximately 1,000 beits survived to our day. Although they are written in a simple style, they are noted for their vivid imagery.

Most of Rudaki’s biographers assert that Rudaki was blind. Some claim that he was born blind, but his accurate description of colors contradicts this claim. Others claim that Rudaki was blinded at the behest of the Samanid emir Nasr II towards the end of his life. The emir subsequently regretted his orders and offered Rudaki generous gifts, but the poet refused the offer, left the court, and lived the rest of his life in poverty in his home village.

Rudaki is considered one of the founders of classical Persian literature because he was one of the first Persian poets to write in the Modern Persian language. Since the development of Tajik literature is inextricably linked with that of Persian literature, Rudaki is also considered the founder of classical Tajik literature. To honor him, the Institute of Language and Literature of the Tajik Academy of Sciences was named after Rudaki.

Rudaki is one of the most revered cultural figures in the history of Tajikistan. The central avenue of Dushanbe is named after him, and his portrait is on the obverse of the 500 somoni banknote. In the small village of Panjrud, where Rudaki was buried, there’s a mausoleum dedicated to the poet, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tajikistan.

Since the exact dates of Rudaki’s birth and death are unknown, it was decided to celebrate Rudaki Day on September 22, the day of the autumn equinox. The holiday is marked by conferences, poetry readings, library open days, concerts, flower-laying ceremonies at Rudaki monuments, and other events celebrating Rudaki’s legacy and Tajik literature in general.

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Rudaki Day in Tajikistan, holidays in Tajikistan, cultural observances, Rudaki, classical Tajik literature