BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 3. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has signed a Decree on the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Professional National Theater of Azerbaijan, Trend reports.
On March 2, 2013, President Ilham Aliyev signed an Order to mark National Theater Day in Azerbaijan and the 140th anniversary of the Azerbaijani professional theater, which plays a crucial role in the revival of the Azerbaijani nation. Since then, National Theater Day has been annually celebrated on March 10.
Theater art development in the Azerbaijani culture has a long history starting with elements of open-air folk performances, religious ceremonies, ashugs (Caucasian folk poets and singers) narrating folk epics, traditional Islamic mystery plays, and dervish dances.
The first Azerbaijani play "Vizier of Lankaran khanate" by Akhundov was staged upon the initiative of Azerbaijani print media founder Hasan-bay Zardabi and dramatist, public figure Najaf-bay Vazirov on March 10, 1873.
Thus, March 10 became the day of the Azerbaijani professional theater establishment.