Moldokanov Usongazy Moldokanovich

Moldokanov Usongazy Moldokanovich, 71 years old, pediatrician for 45 years, currently on honorary leave. Jeti – Oguz region, village Ak –Kochkor.
22.02.2010. Time: 14:20- 15:30 pm

If Nooruz comes on  a Monday, it will be a rainy year with a rich harvest. It appears that Monday is a Moon day. If the holiday comes on a Wednesday, the year will be difficult and the grain crops will be expensive, but there will be a lot of greens. Wednesday is ruled by Mercury. If Nooruz comes on a Thursday it means there will be sickness and there will be an eclipse but everything will end well. It is Jupiter’s day.  If Nooruz comes on a Friday, the year will demand a lot of hard work and effort but it will be profitable.  The harvest will be late; there will be fewer accidents. Friday belongs to Venus.  If Nooruz comes on a Saturday it means that year there will be a lot of greens and fruits and different vegetables. The spring will be very windy. It is Saturn’s day. If Nooruz comes on a Sunday then you should expect well-being and prosperity; there will be less gossips and rumors. Sunday is the Sun’s day. The word ‘Nooruz’ comes from Farsi language and means ‘nou’- new, and ‘ruz’- sun or day.

In the olden days the Kyrgyz people could predict the weather for the next day or for the next season of the year just by looking at the stars. For example, according to the elders, the weather forecast was made during the new moon. They would predict that if the moon was yellow and ‘as if it lies down on its back’ there would be many unpleasant days that month.

“If Urkor[1] is seen from the house,

The winter will be 90 days long,” – they would say.

There are 90 days in three months. Now you can’t see it from the house. In olden days, while laying down in a yurt in a night without clouds, people could see the star cluster from the opening in tunduk. The star cluster is called Urkor. If one could see it from the yurt, it meant the winter will last for three months. Now you can not see it from an ordinary house. And during Nooruz the opposition of Urkor and the moon proposes means that there will be well-being and prosperity.

What was the calendar like among the Kyrgyz? Why does each year carry the name of an animal? A long time ago one Turkish khagan wanted to know about the exact date of a war. His advisers got the dates confused and could not determine it exactly. The khagan gathered a national assembly and declared, “As we got confused with the dates, so our descendants will also get confused. That is the reason why we should name each year.” The people approved of his proposal and hunters drove all the animals to the river Jyluu- Suu (Warm Water – translator’s note). Twelve animals got scared and jumped across the river. The first was a mouse, which starts the twelve month annual cycle. Then went the cow, the panther, the rabbit, the fish, the snake, the horse, the ewe, the monkey, the hen, the dog and the swine.  The Turkic people solely believe that each year carries the characteristics of its host. For instance, there is a belief that in the year of the cow there are many wars, because the cow likes to gore. A hen year is fruitful because the hen likes grains, at the same time there will be a lot of fighting and quarrels. In the year of the fish it gets rainy, etc.

Turkic people don’t have words that mean days of a week. The notion juma[2] came after Islam. And this is what I can say regarding the names of the months:

Arabic Kyrgyz Russian
Muharab Birdin ayie Февраль
Safat Jalgan kuran Март
Rabagil Chin kuran Апрель
Rabilis sani Bugu Май
Jimadib Kulja Июнь
Jimadis sane Teke Июль
Arajab Bash oona Aвгуст
Shagban Aiyak oona Сентябрь
Ramazan Toguzdun ayie Октябрь
Shavval Jetinin ayie Ноябрь
Jylkadab Beshteen ayie Декабрь
Zulhizba Uchtun ayie Январь

[1] Pleiades, star cluster.
[2] Juma- Friday, this day has a great meaning in Islam.