Christmas may become public holiday in Kazakhstan

Members of the Majilis, or the lower house of parliament in Kazakhstan, have come out with the proposal to make Christmas a public holiday in their Central Asian country with a predominantly Muslim population, parliament spokespeople told a RIA Novosti correspondent.

A group of Kazakh MPs have reportedly drafted amendments to the effective law on public holidays. They have extended the public holiday list by adding, along with Christmas, two more Moslem festivals: Kurban Ayt (Sacrifice) and Ramazan Ayt (the festival marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan). The draft amendments are in for parliament deliberations.

So far, the list of public holidays observed in Kazakhstan includes the following eight titles: New Year's, International Women's Day (March 8), Nauryz (March 21, an Islamic adaptation of pre-Islamic vernal equinox celebrations), National Unity Day, V-E Day, Constitution Day, Republic Day, and Independence Day.

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