May 5 – Constitution Day in Kyrgyzstan

Posted on May 5, 2018

Another day, another former-Soviet-Union nation celebration!

Today's patriotic holiday commemorates the 1993 adoption of Kyrgyzstan's constitution.

This landlocked nation in Central Asia is one of the "-stans" that are so easy to mix up unless we strive to learn a bit about each one. Check out the Kyrgyz Republic by the numbers:

500,000 - The Epic of Manas is one of the longest epic poems in history (some Krygyz people claim that it is THE longest, but only if it is measured by how many lines rather than how many words). The poem has about 500,000 lines - half a million!! The hero, Manas, who is said to have united Kyrgyzstan, is the namesake of many, many things, from streets and universities to airports and parks.

1,000 - The Kyrgyz people celebrated the 1,000th anniversary of the Epic of Manas in 1995. However, all evidence points to the poem having been written sometime in the 1700s, about events that happened in the 16th and 17th Centuries - which makes the poem less than 300 years old.

113 - Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked nation, but it has the world's second largest high-altitude lake, Issyk-Kul, which is 113 miles long.

88 - Much of the nation - between 70% and 80%! - is mountainous. There are 88 major mountain ranges in the nation.

43 - By far the largest export is gold - 43% of the Kyrgyzstan's exports is gold, and #2, dried legumes, accounts for less than 4% of its exports. 

40 - The nation's flag has 40 rays around the sun...because the name "Kyrgyz" is thought to have come from the Turkic word for "40," in honor of 40 clans related to the legendary hero Manas.

20 - The Burana Tower, which marks the site of an ancient city, lost an entire 20 meters of height after an earthquake! It was originally 45 meters (148 feet) tall, but now it's only 25 meters (82 feet) tall. 

13 - The Kyrgyz National Park Ala-Archa was established in 1976. From 1992 to the present, another 12 State Nature National Parks have been established.

7 - The presidential office, whose name translates to the White House, has 7 stories!

3 - It's one of the few nations that has money in a "3" denomination. In Kyrgyzstan's case, it's a 3 som coin.

3 - The country boasts 3 Unesco World Heritage Sites, two of which are mountains!
3 - The national instrument, the komuz, has just 3 strings and no frets.

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