Kudakeev Jengish, Talas oblast, Özgörüsh village

Months were counted by hands

Kyrgyz people counted the number of days in a month very easily. For example, they counted days using the bones in the hand,  according to the knuckles and the gaps between the knuckles. I can’t count that well, but I remember my grandmother would use her hands when counting the days of the month. She would say, “This month has thirty days, and that month has thirty one days”. If you come to a knuckle, the bone that sticks up, then that month has thirty one days, and if it comes to the space between the knuckles, then that month has thirty days.

Counting years

Aleiki Salam called some animals so he could count the years. A camel said: “I will be the animal used for counting years”. Aleiki Salam said: “Whichever animal sees the sun coming up first will be the of the first animal in the year cycle”. Back then, camels used to have long tails. A mouse jumped up the camel’s tail and onto its head. The camel didn’t notice since the mouse was so small. So it was the mouse  that first saw that the sun was rising and cried: “I saw it, I saw it”. That is why the year cycle begins with a mouse.

The Great Bear star is the old compass

If you get lost on your way at night, you can find your way if you constantly keep the Great Bear over your right shoulder. You can know which way is east and which way is west using the Great Bear. If the Great Bear is on your right shoulder, you are facing south. If it comes over your left shoulder, then you are facing north. If it’s in front of you then you are facing west, if it’s behind you, then you are facing east. Kyrgyz people found out about the cardinal directions without using a compass, but with the help of the Great Bear.

The world was made in seven days

God created the world in seven days. That’s why there are seven days in a week. It is said that Saturday is the day of work. God started creating the earth on Saturday and finished it on Monday. It is said that Monday is the day when the creation of the earth was completed. According to the belief of Kyrgyz people, God created the Earth and after that God created a human from the soil. God put the human being in heaven. The human, Adam, was there alone and that is why he said to God: “I am alone, it would be good if I had somebody else with me”. Then God took one rib from Adam and created a woman. So there were Adam and that woman in heaven. Satan came as a leopard and attempted to persuade God. God said: “I have created human beings, and you should obey them”. The leopard replied: “We were made out of fire, so why should we obey those who were made out of dirt? No, I will not obey them”. That is why up until today we are tempted by Satan. For example many people die from alcohol. This is also the temptation of Satan, and it is Satan’s weapon.

The time was defined by the shade

For example during the midday the shade disappears. At about 3 pm the shade is very small. Closer to the evening the shade starts appearing from the back. During the diger time the shade becomes twice as big. When the sun rises our shade is in front of us.