Azerbaijan, a country with an area of approximately 87,000 square meters , has a rich cultural heritage. It has the distinction of being the first country to host performing arts such as opera and theater among the countries with a majority of Muslims. There is no official religion in its constitution . The country is a secular nationalist in terms of political power, but the majority of the people have Shia beliefs. Compared to other Eastern European and Commonwealth of Independent States countries, Azerbaijan has a very high level of social and economic development and literacy .
Where is Azerbaijan?
Located in the Caucasus, the intersection point of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan is the country with the largest surface area of the South Caucasus. It is bordered by the Caspian Sea to the east , Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, Russia to the north, and Iran to the south . Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic , which is attached to it, is neighbors with Armenia in the north and east, and Iran in the south and west . It has a 17-kilometer border with Turkey.
When to go to Azerbaijan?
The best time to visit Azerbaijan, which is under the influence of the continental climate, is late spring, summer and early autumn . Air temperatures tend to be high between May and September.
Azaris are very similar to Turks of Turkey in terms of their culture as well as their language . The expression “one nation, two states” will suffice to express the friendship and closeness between the two countries . Traditions and social label are identical to Turkey.
Due to the domination of many empires throughout its history, Azeri cuisine has been influenced by other cultures, especially Iranian, Turkish and Russian cuisines . Especially Armenian cuisine and Azeri cuisine are very similar to each other.
Azerbaijani dishes generally consist of pastries with meat, vegetables, milk, dishes, pilafs and soups . There are not many olive oil dishes. A striking feature of Azerbaijani cuisine is that there are many varieties of foods of the same type . For example, there are more than thirty varieties of dolma and wrap, and more than a hundred of pilaf. The same applies to pastries, soups, meat dishes, vegetable dishes, desserts and even salads .
Souvenirs to Buy from Azerbaijan
The souvenirs you can buy from Azerbaijan are generally the kind of souvenirs found in Turkey. Azerbaijan, which has a common culture with Turkey in terms of traditional handicrafts, is famous for its hand-woven rugs and copper-worked pots and ewers .
Apart from religious and national holidays, Azerbaijan has five important music festivals . One of them is the international music festival held in Baku on behalf of Mstislav Rastropovic . Likewise, there is a music festival organized in the name of Uzeyir Hajibeyov . In addition to the festival commemorating these two prominent Azerbaijani musicians, there is the Silk Road International Music Festival, the Mugham World International Music Festival and the Gabala Music Festival held every summer . Apart from music festivals, a traditional pomegranate festival is held every year in the city of Göyçay, which is famous for its pomegranate .
Holidays/ Holidays/ Important Days in Azerbaijan
-New Year (1-4 January)
-Martyrs. Day (20 January)
-Women’s Day (March 8)
-Nevruz (20-26 March ) -Republic
Day (28 May)
-National Liberation Day (June 15)
-Armed Forces Day (26-27 June)
-National Independence Day (October 18) -National
flag day (November 9)
-Constitution Day (November 12)
-National Day of Rebirth (November 7)
-Day of Solidarity of Azerbaijanis (December 31)
Climate and Weather in Azerbaijan
A temperate continental climate prevails in Azerbaijan . Inward from the Caspian Sea, in the high mountains and other high areas, a harsh climate is observed. In higher elevations , winters are long, cold and snowy, and summers are cool . On the plains, winters are cool and mostly rainy, but sometimes snowy, and summers are hot and dry. The annual average temperature is above 10 degrees.
A Brief History of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, which was under the rule of different empires for many years , became an independent state in 1918 as a democratic republic . However, two years later, in 1920, the Red Army of Soviet Russia invaded Azerbaijan and established the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic and annexed it to the territory of the Soviet Union .
Azerbaijan, which spent the 90’s when it gained its independence with economic depression , has fertile agricultural lands and rich resources in terms of natural gas, oil and iron ore. Crude oil production, which is the main source of income, is at considerable levels . Other income-generating economic activities are in areas such as petrochemicals, food, clothing and light industry.
Languages Spoken in Azerbaijan
Azeri Turkish is spoken at a rate of 94 percent in Azerbaijan. In addition to this language, which is very similar to Turkey Turkish, the other language spoken in the country is Russian . In addition, English is taught as a foreign language .