For the first time over the past several years, New Year trees will be installed in all four districts of Dushanbe.

Installation of a 25-meter light-emitting New Year tree, which is considered the main New Year tree of Tajikistan, has already begun at Dushanbe’s Dousti Square.

By Dushanbe Mayor Rustam Emomali’s decree the work on installing the main New Year tree should be completed by December 10.  

Besides, New Year trees will also be installed in all Dushanbe’s districts.  Thus, the New Year trees will be installed at 800th Anniversary of Moscow Square, at Friendship of People’s Square and near the building of the Prosecutor-General’s Office.  

A festive concert to celebrate the New Year is expected to take place at Dousti Square on December 31 from 18:00 to 24:00. 

Last year, a 20-meter New Year tree was installed at Dousti Square on December 29 and dismantled just a couple of days later.   

Tajikistan inherited the Soviet Union’s New Year’s traditions, and celebrations have continued despite some criticism by religious figures.

In 2013, the head of the state-backed Islamic Council of Ulema, Saidmukarram Abduqodirzoda, urged Tajiks not to celebrate New Year’s holiday, while the official newspaper of the Islamic Revival Party (IRPT), Najot, advised authorities not to erect the traditional fir tree in the capital.

And even the then first deputy head of the Committee for TV and Radio-broadcasting under the Government of Tajikistan, Saidali Siddiqov, noted in December 2013 that Father Frost and Snow Maiden, the iconic symbols of New Year’s in Tajikistan and other former Soviet countries, have been barred from appearing on state television.  “Father Frost, his maiden sidekick Snegurochka (Maiden Snow), and New Year’s tree will not appear on the state television this year, because these personages and attributes bear no direct relation to our national traditions, though there is no harm in them” Siddiqov told Asia-Plus in an interview on December 11, 2013.  According to him, there was no any order on that point from above.  “The national TV channels have made such a decision themselves and the Committee for TV and Radio-broadcasting has just approved it,” Siddiqov said.

The then Dushanbe Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev, however, responded by signing a decree on December 9, 2013 on organizing festive activities in the city to celebrate New Year’s Eve and a 22-meter New Year’s tree was installed in Dousti Square on December 28.

The New Year’s holiday, which is entirely secular holiday, remains one of the most popular holidays throughout the former Soviet Union, celebrated with family meals and fireworks.