Cultural Festivals & Events

Cultural Festivals & Events

Cultural festivals in Afghanistan can be broadly categorized into three categories- Traditional, National and Religious.


Traditional festivals

Nau Roz  (New Year Festival according to the solar calendar) is celebrated on the first day of spring. It is the most popular and well known festival in Afghanistan. People celebrate this festival with dance, music and buzkashi matches. It is also called Gul e Sorkh in Mazar e Sharif.


National festivals

Jeshyn-Afghan Day (Independence Day) is celebrated on August 19th. Afghanistan was not a British colony, but its foreign policy was controlled by the British. Independence Day is celebrated to mark the Third Anglo-Afghan War which ended British control on foreign affairs of Afghanistan.

Labour Day is celebrated on May 1st and is a legacy of Soviet era.


Religious Festivals

Islam is followed by majority of Afghans and they celebrate all their religious festivals with enthusiasm.

Ashura is the 10th Day of the month of Muharram according to the Islamic calendar. Musharram commemorates the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Imam Hussain and his followers in the battle of Karbala, whom Shias regard as the rightful successor of the Prophet.

Mawleed al Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Muhammad) is celebrated on the 12th day of the month Rabi al-Awal in the Islamic calendar. It is celebrated by attending special prayers in the mosques and meeting family and friends.

Eid Al-Fitr (After a month of Ramadan/fasting) is celebrated by praying collectively in the mosque, meeting family and friends, and eating sweet dishes.

Eid Al-Adha or Eid e Qurban is celebrated on the tenth day of the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. It marks the commencement of Haj (Muslim pilgrimage) and animals like sheep, goats or camels are sacrificed for feast on this day.


Game of Buzkashi is another major event of cultural significance in Afghanistan. It is also a national sport of Afghanistan. Literally it means “goat killing