Book Day in Tajikistan Date in the current year: September 4, 2024

Book Day in Tajikistan Book Day in Tajikistan is celebrated annually on September 4. On this day in 2007, the cornerstone of the new building of the National Library of Tajikistan was laid.

Tajik literature can be considered a continuation of classical Persian literature, since the Tajik people maintained a cultural affinity with the Persian and other Iranian peoples for centuries. For example, Ferdowsi, who is celebrated as one of the most influential Persian poets, is regarded as the national poet of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.

Modern Tajik literature developed from classical Persian literature in new historical conditions such as the annexation of Central Asia by the Russian Empire and the standardization of the Tajik language. One of the most prominent Tajik authors of this era was Ahmad Donish (1827–1897).

In the 20th century, Tajik literature was dominated by such authors as Sadriddin Ayni, Abolqasem Lahouti, Mirzo Tursunzoda, Satim Ulugzade, Mumin Kanoat, Payrav Sulaymoni, Hikmat Rizo, Aminjan Shokuhi, and others. Hikmat Rizo was not only a poet, but also an outstanding performer of folk songs and epics.

The National Library of Tajikistan was founded in January 1933 on the basis of the Stalinabad city library (Stalinabad was the Soviet name of Dushanbe). By 1946, its collection amounted to more than 1.5 million copies of books. By 1954, the library had outgrown its old building and moved to a new one.

The National Library continued to develop after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the proclamation of Tajikistan’s independence. In 2005, the government of Tajikistan adopted a ten-year program for the development of the National Library, which included, among other films, the construction of a new building.

The foundation stone of the new library building was laid on September 4, 2007. After more than four years of construction, the opening ceremony took place on March 20, 2012. The new building, built in the shape of an open book, became the largest library in Central Asia.

The National Library of Tajikistan has the status of a national repository of scientific and cultural heritage. It is the country’s largest repository of manuscripts, printed publications and fiction, as well as the world’s largest collection of manuscripts and printed works in Tajik and Persian.

During the opening ceremony, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon officially declared the founding anniversary of the new building of the National Library, September 4, as Book Day. Announcing the creation of the holiday, the head of state stressed that tens of millions of somoni were allocated from the state budget to facilitate the development of book publishing and libraries.

Book Day in Tajikistan is marked by various events and activities held at public libraries and bookstores throughout the country. They include book exhibitions and fairs, book presentations, poetry readings, seminars and discussions, conferences, and other events focusing on literature and publishing. As of 2012, Tajikistan had over 1330 libraries and 120 bookstores.

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