Городская дума Исполнительный комитет Город Казань
City of Kazan » About Kazan » Culture


Cultural traditions of each nationality root from the times centuries ago. Over time, and especially under the influence of progress, traditions change, adjust by the rhythm of present times, rearrange.

Architecture and art are probably the most important indicators of the cultural heritage. Kazan with its ancient history of 1000 years and with the new history of a tourist metropolis has its national peculiarities, which vividly characterize it. They are Syuyumbeke Tower, founded in the middle of the 16th century, Humanitarian Pedagogical University, built in the year 2005; Mardzhani Mosque, which decorations are based on ancient tartar motives, the Tatar State Theater building named after Kamal reflecting modern urban style, Petro-Pavlovsky Church, carrying in its image Slavic identity, and the Museum of Fine Arts rich with expositions of Russian artists, austere minimalism of the National Cultural Center building and the color richness of the Tugan Avalym entertainment complex.

National and religious holidays occupy an important place in the history of each culture Coexistence of multiple cultures in Kazan has had an impact on the traditions of each nationality: a growing number of Tatars celebrate the Easter, Russians celebrate Kurban Bayram.

Superficial resemblance of different people holidays was due to the annual cycle in the national economy, the change of seasons, as well as the season of harvest and food preservations.

One of the traditional holidays, which still persists among villagers, no matter whether they are Tartars, or Russians, remains a holiday of ice-melting and welcoming spring: Zhimchechek (Tatar flower juice holiday) and Easter (Russian holiday of Shining resurrection of Christ, as well as the Annunciation day - "liberation" from winter).

The major summer holiday in both cultures is preceded by numerous spring holidays: the Tatar butkasy holiday (Festival at the ground elevation), bulek zhyyu (collection of gifts), and others, and the Russian ones: Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Low Sunday and others.

The most important summer holidays are Sabantuy and Holy Trinity. It is significant that both of these holidays are "running": earlier the date of their celebration depended on many factors: planting, dates of previous festivals, natural and weather conditions. That tradition still persists. Originally Sabantuy preceded the planting day, but now it is celebrated at completion of the spring planting works in the fields. Trinity is a religious holiday and it is rather dedicated to the forest (birch trees) than to the harvest.

Nowadays, especially with development of the urban lifestyle, forgotten are such holidays as the Rite of calling rain (Tatar), urak este (collection of cereals, Tatar), Eme (Rite in the beginning of construction works - Tatar), Elijah the Prophet (ban on swimming after August 2 - Russian) Ivan-Kupala (purification with water and fire), Radonitsa (farewell ceremony for the Easter Sunday Christ).

They were replaced by modern international holidays: New Year Day and March 8; public holiday of February 23; the city festivity of August 30.

It is interesting to note that earlier the Tatars, as well as the Russians, celebrated their traditional, "historical" New Year at the same time (the Russians: New Year, the Tatars: noruz) at the end of March or early April.

A characteristic feature of the two cultures neighborhood was a tradition of collecting gifts, which the Tatars call 'nardugan', while the Russians call it 'kolyadki'.

The Russians and the Tatars celebrate two important holidays in winter: Kurban Bayram and Christmas. Although the meaning of these two holidays is different (Kurban Bayram is kind of a sacrificial offering, while Christmas is the principal biblical holiday), their influence still remains strong.

The modern trends in the cultural traditions of Kazan reflect active development of national projects: various educational programs, festivals of music, movies, art and literature have been supported.