Dushanbe is the first among the Central Asian capital cities to install a New Year’s tree. The work on installation of a 28-meter light-emitting New Year tree, which is considered the main New Year’s tree of Tajikistan, was completed on December 9. This year’s New Year’s tree, which has been installed at Dousti Square in downtown Dushanbe, is considered Tajikistan’s tallest ever New Year’s tree, Trend reports referring to news.tj.
Besides, New Year’s trees have been installed in all Dushanbe’s districts as well.
A festive concert to celebrate the New Year is expected to take place at Dousti Square on December 31 from 18:00 to 24:00.
Last year, a 25-meter light-emitting New Year tree was installed at Dousti Square on December 10 and dismantled in early January.
In 2015 and 2016, the New Year’s tree was installed at Dousti Square on December 29 and dismantled just a couple of days later.
Tajikistan inherited the Soviet Union’s New Year’s traditions, and celebrations have continued despite some criticism by religious figures.
In 2013, the head of the state-backed Islamic Council of Ulema, Saidmukarram Abduqodirzoda, urged Tajiks not to celebrate New Year’s holiday.
And even the then first deputy head of the Committee for TV and Radio-broadcasting under the Government of Tajikistan, Saidali Siddiqov, noted in December 2013 that Father Frost and Snow Maiden, the iconic symbols of New Year’s in Tajikistan and other former Soviet countries, have been barred from appearing on state television. “Father Frost, his maiden sidekick Snegurochka (Maiden Snow), and New Year’s tree will not appear on the state television this year, because these personages and attributes bear no direct relation to our national traditions, though there is no harm in them” Siddiqov told Asia-Plus in an interview on December 11, 2013. According to him, there was no any order on that point from above. “The national TV channels have made such a decision themselves and the Committee for TV and Radio-broadcasting has just approved it,” Siddiqov said.
The then Dushanbe Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev, however, responded by signing a decree on December 9, 2013 on organizing festive activities in the city to celebrate New Year’s Eve and a 22-meter New Year’s tree was installed in Dousti Square on December 28.
The New Year’s holiday, which is entirely secular holiday, remains one of the most popular holidays throughout the former Soviet Union, celebrated with family meals and fireworks.
Meanwhile, the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek is the second in Central Asia to install the New Year’s tree. In Bishkek, the New Year’s tree wa installed on December 10.