National culture of Kazakhstan has absorbed the achievements of world culture and is a part and product of world history and culture. The study of the history and culture of the people is impossible without understanding the origins of ethnic development, priority spiritual and moral values of the Kazakh culture. In the history of any people, understanding the past lays the Foundation and prospects for the future. As noted by President N.. Nazarbayev "... Kazakhs are heirs to great civilizations -were able to carry their national identity over all of the historical chasms and valleys. And not only to carry, not only to save, but also to increase".
Culture of Kazakhs until the twentieth century remained nomadic, but despite this for many millennia has passed the way of development of no less complex and interesting cultures of other peoples. Nomadic Kazakhs have developed their own way of thinking and social organization, which is a synthesis of cognitive forms of the West and East. As a result of this mixing, the greatest development was traditions, rituals and customs. Each nation has its own customs and traditions that characterize only its national characteristics and features that reveal its national essence. Traditions are developed in the long historical development, in the process of diverse labor and cultural activities of each people. Since the emergence of human society, the progress of civilization has been due to the fact that from generation to generation, from the collective to the individual, knowledge, work skills, norms of behavior, material or spiritual values have been systematically transferred. Each new generation absorbed it, applied in life, developed and further passed on to the next generations. In the course of historical development, various forms, methods and mechanisms of preservation and transfer of social experience have been developed and established, which are collectively called traditions.
Since life and well-being depended on endurance, strength, dexterity and ingenuity, special attention in the steppe was paid to instilling these qualities in children from early childhood. Therefore, many Kazakh rituals are somehow associated with the birth, childhood, youth and adulthood of a young man. For example, shildehana festival about the birth of his son, wealthy people have done good food, inviting not only residents but also neighboring villages, organized competitions of singers, trick riding on horses. The child is often named after the revered man in the village. There were cases when the child was given the first available, no noticeable name to grow it is not in sight healthy and strong. As special stages on the way to adulthood in the Kazakh family noted such events as besikke Salu-laying a newborn in a cradle, with a hint that he quickly grew up and gained good health; tusau kesu - the first steps of the child, so he could walk and run fast. On this day, according to the Kazakh custom, in the Yurt, where the baby made his first step, it was decided to call the oldest and most respected person in the village, so he cut with a knife special ropes, entangling the legs of the child. Atka utilizou is landing on the horse with the transmission in the hands of not only whips, but also spears, the heir was able to ride, metal spears are the best, far and accurately. Then followed the ritual of circumcision. On this day, the parents of 5-7-year-old son called the venerable Mullah to the Yurt. And he performs the ritual of circumcision, after which he is generously rewarded by the parents of the child. Then they custom make the holiday. A lot of guests, relatives from neighboring villages are called, they in turn make gifts to the child and his parents.
Games and holidays at all times have been of great social importance. Their origin refers to the distant antiquity, in their development they have passed a number of successive forms, consistent with social relations and economic activity of the people. Games and entertainment performed functions such as educational, sport, ritual, entertaining and aesthetic, communicative, etc. Wide and universal was the function of the military-sports game associated with the military way of life (wars, raids, clashes), and economic activities of the company. These games were says, audaryspak, jamby ATU, horse racing, arm wrestling, etc. part of the fun and games carried the ritual and ceremonial function included in the funeral and burial ceremonies, and also marriage. Many of them later lost their original essence, developing and reborn. An example is Alaman baiga, kokpar. Folk celebrations (Meiram, toy, AC) and games were dedicated to significant events and were of a public nature. The biggest holiday, according to researchers, was considered a Wake with horse racing. It is known that the Wake (as), organized in honor of the oldest in the genus, collected a lot of people, there were up to 15 thousand people, regardless of class affiliation. They were talked about in the steppe for several years, composed songs. The celebration lasted from 3 to 7 days, depending on the financial situation of the organizers. At the same time every day there were some games, competitions, and the final day ended with a Grand jump, which was the glory of commemorations. Among the family and ancestral celebrations no less significant was the wedding. The celebration began with a common treat. Here you can hear wedding songs and aitys of famous akyns, see and participate in games and comic entertainment. During the wedding toy only the entertainment program included a lot of games, where the main entertainment was horse racing (baiga) with prizes, often very significant. The same solemn character was the event associated with the birth of a son, which often went beyond pure family joy. They were a celebration dedicated to the birth of the baby (shildekana), a celebration committed about the laying of the child in the cradle (besyk toy), a celebration celebrated on the fortieth birthday of the child (kyrkynan shygaru), a celebration associated with the Muslim ritual of circumcision of boys aged three to ten years (sundet toy). Each of the holidays had its own background. For example, childcare associated with the legend, "under which three of the first night the spirits can kidnap a newborn, to replace him a freak. Noisy fun of young people had to scare them."
Respect for the horse and love for horse games have become a tradition that has survived to the present day. Alaman baiga-long and super long distance race (25, 50, 100 km), is one of the oldest and most popular competitions. The emergence of it is due to the nomadic way of life, the need to train horses to the long transitions, particularly in wartime. Alaman baiga is the first and the main type of program of major folk festivals, especially the memorial (as). Competitions were held in the steppe in a straight line, abounding with natural obstacles, without limiting the number of horses, their breed. As the riders approached the finish line, they shouted generic calls (Uranus), by which the viewer knew the winners of the race. Baiga was held on all holidays and was accessible to all. It was arranged on a flat area in a straight line, with a turn or in a closed circle. Competitions were held at the following distances: from 1.2 to 2 km for horses not younger than three years, from 2.4 to 4.8 km for horses up to four years, from 5 to 8 km for horses under the age of five years and older (actually baiga). Garga days - contest on the Pacers. The distance was established via the direct in vivo from 2 to 10 km. Run amble was hereditary and for natural softness and rhythmic gait of such a horse was very much appreciated. Sometimes ability to a Pacer developed have horse early age, if they had the makings of a. Were doing a special masters (Argosy). Sayys - martial arts of riders on the peaks, is an ancient paramilitary game, arranged only at very large celebrations. Fighters for a duel were exposed from various childbirth or between the neighboring people, as, for example, between Kazakhs and Kyrgyz in the South of Kazakhstan. Participants were equipped with the necessary equipment, armed with long wooden spears with a blunt end. The purpose of the fight-to knock the opponent out of the saddle or to strike him a heavy blow, so he could not continue the fight. Audaryspak-fight on horseback to throw the opponent out of the saddle. Only Mature men with great physical strength, agility, endurance and skillful horse ownership participated. Typically, these masters were exhibited in competitions from the whole village and clan. The origin of kokpar has several origins:
1) the players portray ravenous wolf attacking the flock;
2) it is possible that thus ran before with prey, so, probably, was saved from captivity wounded warrior;
3) connected with the struggle of phratries over the carcass of totem animal.
Jamby ATU - archery or guns at full gallop at a target. Its origin is connected with the military-applied art, which survived until the XVIII century.
Kumys Alu, one of the peculiar national sports, found among the peoples of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, the Caucasus, requires the participants of the maximum speed, agility, skillful and brave horse management. The meaning of the game is to make the rider at full gallop must raise the put on the ground coin, and sometimes a few coins located in the same interval. Great popularity among the people was used by the wrestling (kazaksha kures), a variation of which was found among other peoples of Central Asia. Kazaksha kures was carried out on all festivals and reminded free-style wrestling, however, without weight categories. A distinctive feature of the Cossack kures is the lack of struggle in the stalls and it is produced only on the belts and standing.
Kyz kuu (catch up with the girl) - equestrian game, its roots Dating back to ancient times, when the girls were warriors and riders. They presented a number of conditions to the elected officials, including competitions in races. In case of victory, the warrior had the right to marry her. In a modified form came to us several options for this game, held during the wedding and other celebrations. The game was held on the open field at a certain distance. At the end of the field, a control pole or a meta was installed. Under the terms of the game, the girl must whip the horseman and start jumping to the first jump to the turning post, and the jigit - to catch up with her. If the jigit caught up with her to the turn line, then how the winner had the right to hug and kiss the girl. If he did not catch up with the girl, then on the way back, incited by the audience, she caught up with the awkward horseman and lashed him numerous lashes. Such failures were a disgrace to the rider, it took a long time to forget about it.
Alty Bakan (literally "six pillars") - Kazakh swing, built of six pillars, the ends of which were drawn with a strong rope, installed on top of the cross pole, which was fixed pair of harnesses for legs and seats. Alty Bakan was held in the evening. The girl and the boy swayed on a swing and at the same time had to start some funny song, the others picked it up, played the dombra. Couples followed each other. AK SUEK (white bone) - an entertaining youth game, was held on the moonlit night, with the participation of the youth of the neighboring village. As a tool is taken white bone, hence the name of the game. Participants form two groups led by their leaders, and the representative of one of them by lot throws as far as possible a bone, and the others at this time turn away. Then at the signal all going to look for AK ridge. Who found the first bone quietly notifies his and, hiding behind them, trying to quickly get to the starting position. If he safely reaches the place, the representatives of the defeated team as compensation entertain the winners, most often with a song. Along with youth games, children's games were also widely distributed. The most favorite of them - the knucklebones (asyk), painted sheep and podopechnye grandmother. The antiquity of this game is confirmed by archaeological data throughout the territory of Kazakhstan. Alchiks, money and other prizes were put on the line to win. Among the games intellectual favorite was togyz kumalak-Board game. For it used quadrangular wooden Board with 18 oblong holes (Otau). In the interval between the rows two more large circular holes (cauldron) are cut out. Each player (there are two) has 81 balls, and in the holes put 9. Moves are made alternately. The winner is the one who took more balls from the enemy holes. The game was so popular that they could do without the Board. To do this, the participants dug the necessary holes directly on the ground and carried out the party. The game is called togyz kumalak (nine) because the basis of 81 (9x9) and 162 (2x9x9) put the number 9, which was considered in the ancient Mongols and Turks sacred number. One of the oldest entertainment of Kazakhs was hunting, especially hunting with birds of prey, which served as a help in cattle breeding. The hunter is called Kus-Begi or berkutchi. The experience of training wild birds accumulated for centuries, the secrets passed from father to son. These masters have a natural gift of education of falcons, eagles. For them, specially prepared equipment: a blanket, a cap, a bed, a leash. Trained Golden eagle hunts hares, foxes, partridges, black grouse. The secrets of training dynasty hunters-berkutchi passed from generation to generation. Hunting season with Golden eagle begins with the establishment of snow cover. It was so from ancient times: with the Golden eagle went hunting only in the winter when fur fur of animals was in the price. The usual trophies, in addition to foxes, there are corsac foxes and steppe foxes and hares, and also used to hunt saiga antelope and gazelles. Large birds allowed hawks and small game - falcons. Hunting with a hawk, Falcon, Gyrfalcon begins at the end of September, when the birds are preparing to fly, and lasts until the first snow.
Among all the holidays of Kazakhs Nauryz takes the most honorable place.
The modern Kazakh name of the New year - Nauryz came from the Persian language: NAU - new, RUz - day.In former times, the Kazakhs called the beginning of the new year ULYS Kuna - the day of the whole tribe. Hence the tradition of reconciliation between relatives at the festive table, the exchange of gifts and wishes of good. The beginning of the year was marked by the appearance of greenery. The patient opposition to the hardships of winter is over, and now with the arrival of spring it is important to take part in the holiday of the birth of life. The main ritual dish of the ancient holiday is Nauryz kozhe. Nauryz kozhe includes 7 essential elements that represent 7 life principles: water, meat, salt, oil, flour, millet and milk. They symbolized happiness, luck, wisdom, health, wealth, rapid growth, the protection of the sky. If the milk is a symbol of the new year, something old represents the meat, and definitely smoked components from inventory. In spring people hurry to renew physically and spiritually - they are freed from debts, old unnecessary things, repair clothes, housing, ditches, wells, ask forgiveness from relatives for past sins, put up with neighbors, invite guests, give gifts to relatives. Everyone should visit seven houses, and seven guests should be received at home. Thousands of people witness acute oral song competitions of akyns, competitions in national sports-kazaksha kures, togyz kumalak, horse races and games - Kyz kuu, baiga.
According to the researchers, the Kazakhs had a high material and spiritual culture:" we had and have their own wealth, not only material, but, above all, spiritual: highly artistic oral and written literature, rich folklore, epic, bright musical, poetic and philosophical heritage ". The culture of the Kazakh people has passed a long way of formation and development. The Kazakh nation, which has passed a long period of formation, in the process of which many tribes and peoples took part, occupies an important place in the history of Eurasia and is one of the oldest ethnic groups. It is the successor of the cultural heritage of all peoples who took part in its formation, so the Kazakh people - one of the richest peoples in terms of culture. The system of values that has developed in culture has become an important condition for the national and cultural identity of the people.