Intangible Cultural Heritage Elements of Ferghana Valley
Collection on Intangible Cultural Heritage Elements of Ferghana Valley
Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe
The Ferghana Valley is a cradle of ancient Uzbek cultural traditions. In this area, creative folk arts, such as dancing, music, applied art, performances, and national games are highly developed and interconnected as are customs, traditions, and events. Uzbeks, Tajiks, Uyghurs, Kyrgyzs, Turks, Russians, and people of other national and ethnic backgrounds live in the Ferghana Valley. While they maintain and hold their own folk traditions, customs, and festivities, they also engage in Navruz and Mehrjon holidays with each other.
Guli Arghuvon FestivalThe expedition team to Ferghana Valley video-taped the Guli Arghuvon Festival that takes place every spring in the Do‘sti Khudo Graveyard in the Oltiariq District. The holiday is connected with the blossoming of the arghuvon plants (cercis siliquastrum) that grow in front of the graveyard’s mausoleum and stay in bloom for three days. While this particular event is not celebrated elsewhere, similar events, such as Qizil Gul or Guli Surkh (Red Flower), Lola Sayli (Tulip Festivity), Sunbul Sayli (Hyacinth Festivity), and Gunafsha Sayli (Viola Festivity), have found their way onto traditional calendars in different regions. Due to the historically agrarian Uzbek culture, many of its traditions, such as the Guli Arghuvon Festival and the others mentioned, are related to praising plant life and nature itself. Ancient faiths saw the eternity of nature with death coming in autumn when the trees lose their leaves and life returning when plants blossom in early spring. This point of view is the basis for many beliefs and events in agrarian cultures. The Guli Arghuvon Festival is based on ancient calendar events that unite agrarian beliefs and culture with ideas relating to harvests. Holding the event in a graveyard connects the idea that nature undergoes death and birth in the circle of seasonal change.