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Uzbekistan Celebrates the Adoption of Its Constitution

Constitution Day is a public holiday in Uzbekistan.

Constitution Day: December 8

Constitution Day is a public holiday in Uzbekistan.

As stated in the Constitution of Uzbekistan, in commemoration of adopting the constitution of the independent Republic of Uzbekistan, December 8—the day on which the Constitution was adopted—shall be proclaimed Constitution Day, a national holiday of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

History of Constitution Day in Uzbekistan

We cannot speak of Constitution Day without referring to August 31, 1991, the day Uzbekistan declared independence.

In the 19th century Uzbekistan was incorporated into the Russian Empire and in 1924 became a republic of the Soviet Union. It wasn’t until August 1991 when an attempted coup against the Gorbachev government by Russian hardliners that mass change took place in the Soviet Union. At first, Uzbekistan hesitated to oppose the coup, but eventually decided to the republic independent. In December 1991, Uzbekistan passed an independence referendum and started working on its own constitution. Uzbeks had to wait until the close of 1992 to have their civil rights written into a constitution that they could call their own. On December 8, 1992, President Karimov signed the constitution in the city of Tashkent, capital city of Uzbekistan. The event was so politically important that the date was proclaimed in the constitution as a public holiday to be observed every year as Constitution Day.

Uzbekistan’s Constitution Day Traditions, Customs and Activities

This is a non-work holiday for Uzbeks. Even though Independence Day garners most of the attention in August, Constitution Day is also celebrated with enthusiasm, and nationwide activities that focus on the Constitution are organized. Constitution Day street festivals take place in all cities of the country while the main events are held in the capital city of Tashkent. More than 130 ethnic groups live in Uzbekistan, and on this day they present their folklore, songs, dances, arts, and cuisine. The president and several politicians address the nation with speeches, and the president approves a presidential pardon for Uzbeks in jail to be released. This has also been a day for non-governmental organizations to hold protests against the human rights violations in the country that have not been properly addressed by the government of Uzbekistan.

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