Republic Day in Kazakhstan Date in the current year: October 25, 2024

Republic Day in Kazakhstan Republic Day is a national holiday in Kazakhstan. It is celebrated annually on October 25 to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of the State Sovereignty of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1990.

The history of the Kazakh statehood can be traced back to the 15th century, when the Kazakh Khanate was formed after the collapse of the Golden Horde. The Kazakhs emerged as a distinct Turkic ethnic group with its own language and culture by the 16th century. The gradual decline of the Kazakh Khanate and accession of its territories into the Russian Empire began in the mid-18th century and ended in the second half of the 19th century.

Following the October Revolution of 1917, Kazakh elites founded the short-lived Alash Autonomy. Its government aligned with the White Army against the Bolsheviks. However, as the White Army began to lose in the Russian Civil War, the Alash government switched sides.

In August 1920, the Kazakhs succumbed to the Bolsheviks, and the Alash Autonomy was replaced with the Kirghiz Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic (not to be confused with the Kirghiz ASSR founded in 1926 that was the predecessor of modern-day Kyrgyzstan) within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. In 1925, it was renamed the Kazakh ASSR, and in 1936, the Kazakh ASSR became the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.

The first steps toward the independence of Kazakhstan were made during Perestroika, a period of unprecedented political reform in the Soviet Union that eventually resulted in its dissolution. On October 25, 1990, Kazakhstan declared its sovereignty as a constituent republic of the Soviet Union.

The fundamental principles of Kazakhstan’s sovereignty as stated in the Declaration of the State Sovereignty of the Kazakh SSR included a unitary state, the integrity, indivisibility and inviolability of its territory, the revival and development of the culture, traditions and language of the Kazakh people and other peoples of Kazakhstan, and the strengthening of national identity.

Following the 1991 Soviet coup attempt, commonly known as the August Coup, Kazakhstan began its transition toward independence. The Supreme Soviet of the Kazakh SSR proclaimed the independence of Kazakhstan on December 16, 1991. Kazakhstan was the last Soviet republic to declare its independence during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Republic Day was officially declared the national holiday of Kazakhstan in 1995. In 2001, it was “downgraded” to a public holiday, and Independence Day became the national holiday of Kazakhstan. Eight years later, president Nursultan Nazarbayev removed Republic Day from the list of public holidays of Kazakhstan.

Finally, president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev reinstated it as a national holiday in 2022. Independence Day remained a public holiday, but all festive events celebrating the sovereignty of Kazakhstan, including official events at government institutions and Kazakhstan’s diplomatic missions, are now held on October 25. December 16 is viewed as a day of remembrance for the country’s national heroes who contributed to the independence of Kazakhstan.

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