HOLIDAYS OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN
EXCERPT FROM THE LABOR CODE:
1. Holidays of the Republic of Azerbaijan are as follows:
• New Year’s Day (1 and 2 January);
• Women’s Day (8 March);
• Day of Victory over fascism (9 May);
• Independence Day (28 May);
• Day of National Salvation of the Azerbaijani people (15 June);
• Armed Forces Day (26 June);
• Restoration of Independence Day (18 October);
• Victory Day (8 November);
• National Flag Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan (9 November);
• Constitution Day (12 November);
• National Revival Day (17 November);
• World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day (31 December);
• Novruz - five days;
• Eid al-Adha (Gurban) - two days;
• Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan) - two days.
2. New Year’s Day, Women’s Day, Day of Victory over fascism, Republic Day, Day of National Salvation of the Azerbaijani people; Armed Forces Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Victory Day, National Flag Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan, World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day, Novruz, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr are considered days off.
3. No employee shall work on days off except for occasions specified by the Labor Code.
4. Days to celebrate holidays like Novruz, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr shall be determined and made public by relevant executive authorities until the end of every December.
5. If days off coincide with holidays, they shall be transferred to the next working day after the day off.
6. If Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr coincide with other holidays that are considered days off, the next working day shall be considered a day off.
7. In case holidays and days off follow each other or vice versa, the following working days or days off can be changed on the basis of the decision of relevant executive authorities in order to ensure the succession of working days and days off.
1-2 JANUARY – NEW YEAR
Starting a new calendar year from January 1 dates back to hear 46 BC. According to sources, this initiative was put forward by Roman ruler Julius Caesar. According to the ancient belief, the first month of the year was named January in honor of Janus, the Roman god, who was considered the patron of each beginning. In the following stages, in many countries, the first day of the new year was mainly associated with agriculture and celebrated either at the beginning of spring or at the end of the autumn.
In the Middle Ages, most of the Western European countries celebrated the beginning of the year on 25 December, on 1 and 25 March, while Eastern European countries marked it on 1 September.
Starting a new calendar year from 1 January began to be applied in the majority of Western European countries in the 16th century, and in Russia in the 18th century. By the middle of the 20th century, other countries gradually joined the tradition (for example, Japan in 1873, China in 1912, Greece in 1923, etc). New Year is celebrated on a grand scale worldwide.
8 MARCH – INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
On 8 March 1910, the Copenhagen conference of women socialists made a decision to celebrate the International Women’s Day, but the exact date was not set.
In the International Women’s Year in 1975, the United Nations decided to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March every year.
The Azerbaijani woman, with her wisdom, diligence and purity, went down in the history of the nation and deserved great respect and reverence at all the times. It is no coincidence that the first secular girls’ school in the Muslim East was opened in Baku in 1901.
The United States granted women the right to vote in 1920, France in 1944, Italy in 1946, and Switzerland in 1971. Founded in 1918, Azerbaijan Democratic Republic officially granted peoples of both sexes living in the country the right to vote. Azerbaijan was the first country in the East to grant women suffrage.
Adopted in 1995, the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan provided a legal framework for women’s active involvement in the process of building a democratic state together with men. Important steps have been taken to ensure gender equality in Azerbaijan after the adoption of the Constitution. The establishment of the State Committee on Women’s Problems under the Decree signed by national leader Heydar Aliyev on 14 January 1998, marked a new stage in the implementation of gender policy. In 2006, under the Order of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the State Committee for Women’s Problems was restructured into the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs. In 2006, the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted the Law on Gender Equality, defining the main priorities and tasks of state policy to ensure gender equality.
Today, women in Azerbaijan are actively represented in the public administration system, closely involved in the ongoing public and political, socio-economic, and cultural processes in society, and continue making significant contributions to the prosperity of the state and the people’s welfare.
Novruz is an ancient traditional holiday which reflects and promotes cultural, national and spiritual values, folklore, and national identity of the Azerbaijani people.
For many centuries Novruz has been celebrated as a national holiday with various festivals and ceremonies in every part of Azerbaijan. The preservation of the ancient traditions of this holiday, which is a vivid expression of eternal love of rich spiritual heritage and nature with all its colorfulness, is the manifestation of high respect of the Azerbaijani people for their historical and cultural past and deep commitment to their national and spiritual values. Although Novruz is a holiday of many Oriental peoples, it is celebrated more extensively in Azerbaijan.
Since restoring its independence, Azerbaijan has developed its historical past and rich traditions and national holidays, and Novruz started to be widely celebrated at state level as a national holiday. On 30 September 2009, Novruz was included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and on 23 February 2010, the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations declared 21 March as “International Day of Novruz”.
9 MAY - DAY OF VICTORY OVER FASCISM
In the early hours of 9 May 1945, the German Instrument of Surrender was signed in Berlin. The Azerbaijani people, who made a crucial contribution to victory over fascism in World War II, sent about 700,000 of their sons and daughters to the front. Of them, more than 300,000 were killed in the battles.
Azerbaijani divisions made glorious frontline records from the Caucasus to Berlin, while many of our compatriots fought in guerilla battalions. 123 Azerbaijanis were awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union, more than 170,000 soldiers and officers were awarded different orders and medals for bravery.
Azerbaijani oilmen made a particular contribution to victory as they supplied 75 million tons of oil, 22 million tons of gasoline and other oil products to the frontline and industry. In the years of war, Azerbaijan accounted for three-quarters of the total volume of oil and 85-90 percent of aviation kerosene and high-quality oils produced in the Soviet Union.
9 May is commemorated as the Day of Victory over Fascism at state level in Azerbaijan.
28 MAY – INDEPENDENCE DAY
On 28 May 1918, the National Council of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic signed the Declaration of Independence, declared the independence of Azerbaijan to the world, and continued the centuries-old statehood traditions of our people.
In a short period of time, the first parliament and government of Azerbaijan were established, state attributes were put in place, borders were defined, important measures were taken in the field of state building, recognition of the Republic as a subject of international relations and protection of its national interests.
The laws adopted by the new parliament have played the key role in strengthening national independence, ensuring political, economic and cultural development of the country, and establishing democratic principles. At the time, democratic institutions were established, great work was done in army building, and women were granted the right to vote for the first time in the Muslim East.
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which existed for only 23 months, left a significant mark on the formation of democratic traditions and the history of national statehood, and laid a solid foundation for the future independence of the Republic by strengthening the sentiments of freedom and independence.
The independent Republic of Azerbaijan is the legal successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
By a relevant Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, 2018 was declared a Year of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
The founders of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic are always remembered with great respect and their memory is held in high esteem.
15 JUNE - DAY OF NATIONAL SALVATION OF THE AZERBAIJANI PEOPLE
Despite the fact that Azerbaijan declared the restoration of its independence in 1991, the political crisis caused by the incompetence of the government, activities of internal and external destructive forces aimed at undermining the foundations of the state, the emergence of separatist tendencies in different regions, and severe socioeconomic situation put the country face-to-face with the threat of civil war and the loss of independence. The situation was further exacerbated by Armenia’s aggression and occupation of Azerbaijan’s lands.
And in such a fateful moment, the Azerbaijani people trusted their future to outstanding statesman Heydar Aliyev. After returning to Baku by popular demand, Heydar Aliyev was elected as chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 15 June 1993 and as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 3 October of the same year.
It was thanks to Heydar Aliyev’s salvation mission that the processes threatening the state independence of Azerbaijan were prevented and state-building issues were put in the focus of attention. Thus, 15 June went down in the history of Azerbaijan as the Day of National Salvation.
The key priorities of national leader Heydar Aliyev’s policy included achieving a ceasefire with Armenia, establishing public and political stability, building a democratic system and liberal economy, ensuring national army building and security, implementing a new oil strategy, accelerating Azerbaijan’s integration into the international arena, and achieving a fair settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
1995 marked the launch of drastic reforms in all spheres of public life, a new Constitution was adopted, a multi-party system was built, political pluralism became a norm of society, freedom of speech and press was ensured. In parallel, significant steps were taken to build a market economy, the world`s leading companies were involved in exploiting the hydrocarbon resources in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, routes for the transportation of oil to the world market were defined and resources to ensure Azerbaijan’s development were made available in a short period of time.
Heydar Aliyev pursued a consistent and purposeful policy to transform Azerbaijan into a reliable partner in the system of international relations, raising the world community`s awareness of the material, spiritual and intellectual values of the country, secure the interests of the Azerbaijani state both in the region and in the world by taking into account the key aspects of national security and development.
The 1993-2003 time period, when Heydar Aliyev was in power and was elevated to the status of national leader for his unparalleled services to the Azerbaijani people and state, marked a historic stage when Azerbaijan emerged as a state, formed and transformed into a full-fledged subject of the international community. These 10 years saw the implementation of the national development strategy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the people of Azerbaijan benefited from a rare historic opportunity and made their independence everlasting and irreversible at the cost of great suffering.
26 JUNE – DAY OF ARMED FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established on 28 May 1918, and one of its key tasks was army building. On 26 June, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic established its first regular army unit – a 5,000-strong Special Army Corps of Azerbaijan. The formation of the national army units together with the Caucasian Islamic Army of the Ottomans saved Baku and its surrounding provinces from the Armenian-Bolshevik occupation and played a crucial role in protecting national statehood, the inviolability of borders and security. According to results of WWI, when the Ottoman military unit had to leave Azerbaijan, the Council of Ministers adopted a resolution on 1 November 1918, under which army building was entrusted to the Azerbaijani government. On 25 December of the same year, General of the artillery Samad bay Mehmandarov became minister of the military, while Lieutenant General Aliagha Shikhlinski became deputy minister on 29 December. In a short time, they did a lot in the field of army building. In March 1919, the army of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic staged a ceremonial military parade in Ganja.
Following the collapse of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the Bolsheviks abolished the national army and executed 15 out of 21 generals of the Azerbaijani armed forces.
The Azerbaijanis tried to master military professions even when they were not independent. During WWII, Azerbaijan produced a new grand corps of servicemen, officers and generals. Heroes of the Soviet Union such as Israfil Mammadov, Gafur Mammadov, Huseynbala Aliyev, Mehdi Huseynzade displayed true heroism in the fight against fascism. It was at that time that General Hazi Aslanov, General Akim Abbasov, General Mahmud Abilov, General Tarlan Aliyarbayov and many others inscribed their names in history.
Although the ministry of defense was established in Azerbaijan after the country restored its independence in 1991, it failed to properly fulfill its functions and protect people`s interests until national leader Heydar Aliyev returned to power in 1993. This marked a new era in the history of the Azerbaijani armed forces. Officers who graduated from the Jamshid Nakchivanski Military Lyceum, which was established by national leader Heydar Aliyev in 1971, were engaged in army building. Higher military schools were reorganized and new ones were established.
National leader Heydar Aliyev always attached great importance to the glorious history of the army of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. On 22 May 1998, the national leader signed an Order proclaiming 26 June, the day when the Special Army Corps of Azerbaijan was established, as the Day of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan.
Nowadays the Azerbaijani army is going through the most glorious stage of its history. Military parades held in 2008, 2011 and 2013 demonstrated the power of the Azerbaijani army.
The historic victory achieved in April 2016 after a counter-offensive was launched in response to the continued provocations of the Armenian armed forces on the line of contact was further evidence of the Azerbaijani army’s power and determination to win.
In May 2018, a total of 11,000 hectares of land in Nakhchivan occupied by Armenians in the early 1990s were liberated as a result of a successful operation by the Nakhchivan Special General Army.
On 26 June 2018, a ceremonial military parade was held in Azadlig Square in Baku on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The parade featured Azerbaijani flags raised in the lands liberated from the occupiers during the April 2016 battles and the Nakhchivan operation in 2018. Speaking at the parade, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev said the territorial integrity of the country will be restored. “The day will come when, after the liberation of the occupied territories, the Azerbaijani flag which will be raised there will be brought to Azadlig Square and displayed in a military parade.”
Under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Victorious Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, the people of Azerbaijan united like an iron fist. They proved to the whole world that it was impossible to break their will and force them to come to terms with the occupation. In response to Armenia’s incessant provocations, Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces launched the “Iron Fist” operation on 27 September 2020 and, as a result of the 44-day Patriotic war that lasted until 10 November, forced the occupying country to kneel and capitulate.
The Azerbaijani flags hoisted across the liberated lands were displayed at the Victory Parade in Azadlig Square in Baku on 10 December 2020. On the occasion of this historic date, the President of Azerbaijan said: “Every single day of these 44 days is our glorious history. Every day, Azerbaijan’s Army advanced, liberating cities, villages, settlements and heights. Azerbaijani soldiers and officers fought to put an end to this occupation and injustice, to restore historical justice, and we achieved that.”
The glorious victory in the Patriotic War, along with the demonstration of the military power and economic strength of the Azerbaijani state, was a vivid testimony to our people’s determination to triumph.
18 OCTOBER – RESTORATION OF INDEPENDENCE DAY
Azerbaijan restored its state independence in the late 20th century after the collapse of the USSR. On 18 October 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted the Constitutional Act “On the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan”.
The Constitutional Act referred to the Declaration on the Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 28 May 1918 and the Declaration “On the Restoration of State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan” adopted by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 30 August 1991, proclaiming the independent state of Azerbaijan as a legal successor of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. Thus, according to the Constitutional Act “On the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan”, the people of Azerbaijan restored their independence on 18 October 1991.
The Constitutional Act consisted of 6 chapters and 32 articles.
On 29 December 1991, the people of Azerbaijan voted for the country’s independence and sovereignty in a nationwide referendum.
The chaos and government crisis within the country, as well as Armenia’s military aggression against Azerbaijan, seriously damaged the independent state-building process at that time. Only in 1993, when national leader Heydar Aliyev returned to power, did the country manage to take consistent steps to fulfill the ideas of national independence and restore the traditions of statehood and sovereignty.
On 18 October 2021, Azerbaijan marked the 30th anniversary of the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan. For the first time since 1991, the people of Azerbaijan celebrated this holiday in a completely different way, as a victorious nation that has restored its territorial integrity.
8 NOVEMBER – VICTORY DAY
Azerbaijan had repeatedly stated that Armenia’s aggressive policy posed a significant threat to peace and security in the region and could escalate the situation at any moment. On 27 September 2020, Armenia’s military fired on the civilian population of Azerbaijan and positions of Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces from several directions using various types of weaponry, including heavy artillery. In response to yet another military provocation by Armenia, Azerbaijan launched a counter-offensive on 27 September 2020 to punish the aggressor, put an end to the occupation and thus implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions, return its IDPs to their native lands and restore justice. On the same day, in his address to the nation, President Ilham Aliyev said, “We are on the righteous path. Ours is the cause of justice! We will triumph! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” Those words by the President united all Azerbaijani citizens like a fist for a sacred cause, and the people of Azerbaijan set an example of determination, perseverance, invincibility and national solidarity.
As a result of 44 days of military operations, Azerbaijan’s victorious Army liberated Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Zangilan, Gubadli districts, and the crown jewel of Karabakh, the city of Shusha, which has a special place in the history, culture and hearts of the Azerbaijani people, and numerous villages and settlements of Tartar, Khojaly, Khojavand and Lachin districts. More than 300 settlements, including the strategic heights in Aghdara, Murovdagh, Zangilan and other areas, were liberated. Courageous Azerbaijani soldiers and officers marched step-by-step, breaking through the complex engineering and fortification systems built by Armenia over many years, liberating our lands at the cost of the blood and lives of our heroic soldiers, the martyrs.
Azerbaijan’s military victories, especially the liberation of Shusha from enemy occupation, played a crucial role in the outcome of the war, resulting in Armenia’s recognition of its defeat and signing of an act of capitulation. According to a Joint Statement signed by the President of Azerbaijan, the Armenian Prime Minister and the President of Russia on 10 November 2020, the occupying country was forced to return to Azerbaijan Aghdam on 20 November, Kalbajar on 25 November and Lachin on 1 December. Thus, three more strategically important districts were liberated without bloodshed or loss of life.
President Ilham Aliyev’s visionary and resolute policy, the economic power of Azerbaijan, the modern Army, the unity between the people and the government were the primary contributors to the historic victory. The people of Azerbaijan, who had lived with the pain of a loss of land for centuries, put an end to this tradition and wrote another glorious and heroic chronicle of their history, proving to the whole world that they are victorious people with an indomitable spirit.
The Republic of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity has been restored, and Azerbaijan has singlehandedly implemented four major docuuments adopted by the UN Security Council in 1993 – resolutions 822 of 30 April, 853 of 29 July, 874 of 14 October and 884 of 11 November.
The victory was a logical outcome of the consistent and principled policy towards restoring Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity founded by national leader Heydar Aliyev and successfully carried on by President Ilham Aliyev, the intense diplomatic engagement and the advantage gained in the information domain.
On 8 November 2020, in his address to the people of Azerbaijan from the Alley of Martyrs, President Ilham Aliyev said, “Dear Shusha, you are free! Dear Shusha, we are back! Dear Shusha, we will revive you! Shusha is ours! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” Those words symbolized a prelude to the victory in the Patriotic War.
Considering the historic significance of that day, 8 November was declared Victory Day in the Republic of Azerbaijan by an Order signed of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev dated 3 December 2020.
9 NOVEMBER – DAY OF THE NATIONAL FLAG OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN
The national flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was adopted on 9 November 1918 and kept the status of a national flag until 27 April 1920, when Azerbaijan was occupied and lost its independence.
The height to width ratio of the national flag is 1:2. The national flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan consists of three-color and horizontal stripes of the same width. The upper stripe is blue, the middle stripe is red and the lower is green. In the middle of the red stripe on both sides of the flag, there is a white crescent with an eight-pointed star. Blue symbolizes the country’s Turkic origin, red is for modernization of society and democracy, and green demonstrates Islamic civilization.
In November 1990, at a session of the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which was initiated and chaired by national leader Heydar Aliyev, this flag was adopted as the national flag of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. On 5 February 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted the Law on “National Flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan”, declaring the flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic as the national flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
President Ilham Aliyev’s Order “On the establishment of National Flag Square in the capital city of Baku of the Republic of Azerbaijan” signed on 17 November 2007 is a clear sign of special respect for the national flag.
9 November, the day of the adoption of the national flag by the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, is marked as the National Flag Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
12 NOVEMBER – CONSTITUTION DAY
The first Constitution of Azerbaijan was adopted at the First All-Azerbaijan Congress of Soviets on 19 May 1921.
Amendments and additions were made to the Constitution at the 4th All-Azerbaijan Congress of Soviets on 14 March 1925 due to the establishment of the USSR.
The Azerbaijan SSR’s next Constitution was approved at the 5th All-Azerbaijan Congress of Soviets on 26 March 1927.
On 14 March 1937, the new Constitution of the Azerbaijan SSR came into force under a resolution adopted at the 9th All-Azerbaijan Congress of Soviets in connection with the adoption of a new Constitution of the USSR in 1936.
A new Constitution of the Azerbaijan SSR was drafted after the adoption of a new Constitution of the USSR in 1977. Proposed by national leader Heydar Aliyev at the seventh session of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan SSR on 2 April 1978, Article 73 of the Constitution read as follows: “The state language of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic is the Azerbaijani language.” The final edition of the Constitution of Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic was adopted on 21 April 1978. The adoption of the Azerbaijani language as the state language is one of the historic merits of national leader Heydar Aliyev.
A number of amendments and additions had been made to the Constitution starting from the second half of the 1980s. This considerably changed the Constitution, which was in effect in this edition until 1995, when the Constitution of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan was adopted.
The Constitution of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan was drafted by the Constitutional commission under the leadership of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev. It was adopted in a nationwide vote (referendum) on 12 November 1995 and came into force on 27 November 1995.
In nationwide referendums, the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan was amended on 24 August 2002, with further amendments and additions made on 18 March 2009 and 26 September 2016.
The Constitution, which is based on the principles of “a democratic, constitutional, secular, unitary republic”, ensures the implementation of democratic and modern state-building, as well as fundamental socio-economic and political and legal reforms in Azerbaijan.
12 November is celebrated as the Day of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
17 NOVEMBER – NATIONAL REVIVAL DAY
On 17 November 1988, long-term protests started in Azadlig Square (former Lenin Square) in Baku against the Soviet leadership`s anti-Azerbaijani policy concerning the Karabakh problem and Armenia`s aggression against Azerbaijan. On 22 November of the same year, a large contingent of units of the Soviet army entered Baku, which was accompanied by the imposition of curfew on the city. Despite the curfew, the protests did not stop and on the night of 5 December, the nationwide protests were brutally crushed by the Soviet army using troops and armored vehicles.
This historic event, which marked the beginning of the popular movement in Azerbaijan and had a great impact on the path of independence, went down in history as the Day of National Revival.
31 DECEMBER – WORLD AZERBAIJANIS SOLIDARITY DAY
On 16 December 1991, Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Heydar Aliyev proposed celebrating 31 December as the Day of Solidarity and Unity of World Azerbaijanis. The six-article Decree of the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic declared 31 December as the Day of Solidarity and Unity of World Azerbaijanis. It also included a number of other issues such as the annual celebration of the holiday, submission of a proposal on official celebrations of the holiday in Azerbaijan to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan, etc.
In 1993, 31 December was announced as the World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day in accordance with the Presidential Decree. This is the holiday of all the 50 million Azerbaijanis around the world worldwide.
The First Congress of World Azerbaijanis was held at the initiative of national leader Heydar Aliyev in 2001. In 2002, under an Order of Heydar Aliyev, the State Committee on Work with the Azerbaijanis Living Abroad (currently the State Committee for Diaspora Work) was established. The number of Azerbaijani diaspora organizations worldwide increased from 200 in 2002 to nearly 500 now.
In accordance with relevant orders signed by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the second, third and fourth congresses of World Azerbaijanis were held in 2006, 2011 and 2016 respectively.
The 5th Congress of World Azerbaijanis, the Congress of Victory, was held in Shusha on 22 April 2022. Speaking at the congress, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said: “On my way here, I remembered the first congress held in 2001. As you know, the first congress was held on the initiative of the Nationakl Leader Heydar Aliyev in 2001. In his profound speech, the National Leader, expressed his views on the Karabakh problem and said that Azerbaijan would restore its territorial integrity, the occupied territories would be liberated from occupation and the Azerbaijani people would return to their ancestral lands. We, the followers of the National Leader, have made sure that those words come true. When I was informed about the start of preparations for the 5th Congress, I said that this congress must definitely be held in Shusha.”
Eid al-Adha is one of the most sacred holidays of the Islamic world. According to the Hijri (lunar) calendar, it is celebrated across the Muslim world every year on the tenth day of the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah.
Eid al-Adha, which embodies the completion of Islam as a religion and its divine revelation as a spiritual and moral way of salvation, is a holiday that encourages mercy, solidarity, and brotherhood in people. On this blessed day, Muslims get the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness for any self-sacrifice in the name of Allah and experience the joy of being close to the Almighty.
This holiday is celebrated in Azerbaijan as a triumph of national and spiritual solidarity, benevolent deeds, compassion and mercy. In all parts of the country, sacrifices are made in the name of Allah, prayers are made for the progress and prosperity of the state, tributes are paid to the martyrs who gave their lives for the independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, large-scale charity work is carried out.
Promoting humanity and universal ideas, Islam is an essential part of world civilization and has played an exceptional role in shaping the worldview of our people and in their national and moral development of our people. The people of Azerbaijan have always had great respect for Islamic values and traditions.
Ramadan, in which the holy book of all Muslims, the Holy Quran, was revealed, is a blessed month that illuminates the hearts and minds of people and promotes tranquility, unity and moral purity. The month of Ramadan gives Muslims the chance to fulfill their obligations to God and religion and to experience the joy of benevolent deeds, feelings of compassion and mercy, as well as the triumph of spiritual perfection over temptation.
In Azerbaijan, which is an integral part of the Muslim world, Eid al-Fitr is solemnly marked every year. People in Azerbaijan fast with great enthusiasm and pride, which celebrates the triumph of solidarity, friendship and brotherhood in our society.
Azerbaijan spares no effort to strengthen Islamic solidarity worldwide, develop relations among Muslim countries and peoples based on mutual trust. A land of ethnic and religious tolerance, inter-faith solidarity and cooperation, Azerbaijan hosts forums on inter-civilizational dialogue, summits of world religious leaders and other high-profile international events. In 2008, Azerbaijan initiated the “Baku Process” in order to build an effective dialogue among all cultures and civilizations, which has become a global movement.
The declaration of 2017 as a “Year of Islamic Solidarity” in Azerbaijan and the holding of numerous events in the country and around the world, the hosting the Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in the same year are Azerbaijan’s important and tangible contributions to the cause of strengthening Islamic solidarity in the world.
The demolition of 65 out of 67 mosques in the territories liberated from Armenian occupation and the contempt for religious sanctuaries were a clear manifestation of Armenian fascism. Azerbaijan has announced that the mosques destroyed in these areas will be restored, the existing monuments of other religions will be preserved and religious tolerance will continue to be demonstrated.