nooruz sumolok

Nooruz in Kyrgyzstan. How to cook Sumolok

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Introduction: about Nooruz

In Kyrgyzstan, the Vernal Equinox is celebrated on March 21st. Traditionally, on this holiday, Kyrgyz people prepare a treat called “Sumolok”, made from sprouted wheat with the addition of vegetable oil and flour.


Originally, Nooruz was a pagan festival of Zoroastrians and was considered a sacred day, marking the beginning of the new year.

Below, you will see how to properly prepare Sumolok in pictures.

The dish is started the day before the holiday and is cooked throughout the night, with the cooking process accompanied by singing, dancing, jokes, and storytelling.

Into the cauldron with the mixture, 41 pebbles are added, which, according to the ritual, are gathered at a crossroads of three roads or in the riverbed. However, the presence of stones in the porridge also has a practical significance—thanks to them, the sumolok does not clump together.

The preparation of the festive dish requires constant stirring, and anyone who wishes can do this while making a wish. The readiness of the treat is determined by its color—sumolok acquires a chocolate-brown hue. The dish is left to steep until morning on smoldering coals.

There are also rules for consuming sumolok—it cannot be eaten with a spoon. The treat is tasted with the little finger—according to belief, only then can the wish come true.

Boys born on March 21st are traditionally named Nooruzbek or Nooruzbai, while girls are named Nooruzgul.

It is also customary to tidy up one’s home, settle debts, and seek forgiveness from those who may have been offended in the past. The entire holiday is marked by festivals, national games, and dances.

The celebration of Nooruz in Kyrgyzstan would not be complete without horse games, which are usually held at the Hippodrome in Bishkek and other locations. Competitions also include archery, horse racing, as well as team competitions in Kok-boru and Er-enish.

Where to celebrate Nooruz in Bishkek:

12 PM Nooruz will be celebrated in Supara Ethno Complex. Music, Dancing, traditional shows and Epic of Manas performance will be until evening. Here you can order food and drinks as well.

The main celebration will be in Ala-Too Square – center of Bishkek. Event will start at 9 AM with a speech of country leaders. From 1 PM until 10 PM will be concert of famous singers of the country.

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