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Astana, Kazakhstan • 26 December, 2023 | 12:03
3 min read

Ayaz-Ata Parade, Ski Races and More New Year Festivities in Astana and Almaty

Major Kazakh cities have crafted a program for everyone to enjoy in anticipation of the New Year

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The holiday season is just around the corner, and it's the perfect time to embrace the thrill of the ice slide, skate on the rinks, and build a snowman. As the New Year is coming, Kazakh cities are gearing up for festivities that will continue until December 31.

QazMonitor has prepared a digest of all the winter leisure grounds in Astana and Almaty for everyone to enjoy.


Over the past few days, Astana has welcomed the upcoming New Year festivities and prepared sixty ice rinks and slides scattered throughout the city for the enjoyment of the capital's residents during the festive season.

You can already experience the thrill of the ice slide and skating rink in front of the Zhastar Palace (Republic Avenue 34) and at the EXPO space (near Mangilik Yel Avenue B1). The Central Park has just opened its 290-meter skating rink, starting from the clock tower (located on the side of Turan Avenue), providing an opportunity for both beginners and experienced skaters alike to enjoy skating in a comfortable environment. The park is also adorned with a Christmas tree, thematic decor, and street fair stalls.

The city plans to prepare winter leisure grounds and thematic decor in all five districts of Astana:

  • Saryarka district: near the park on Bogenbay Batyr Avenue, at City Square on Beibitshilik Street, and in Koktal Park.

  • Almaty district: at Kazak Yeli Square, Defenders of the Homeland Square, at the intersection of Abylaykhan Avenue and Kobda Alleyway, as well as the Palace of Schoolchildren (Bauyrzhan Momyshuly Avenue 5).

  • Nura district: at Ferris Wheel (Korgalzhyn Highway 2), at KeruenCity, Khan Shatyr, and Asia Park malls, as well as at the entrance to Central Park and the Urker residential area.

  • Baikonyr district: at Ataturk Park, near Zhastar Palace, on Alley of Writers, in Kazgorodok, Kirpichnyi, Ondiris, SMP, and Koyandy residential areas.

  • Yesil district: near EXPO, at the Botanical Garden, and near the Keruen Mall.

Moreover, on December 30, Central Park will host the opening of the winter sports season, featuring ski races on the ski roller track for several age categories at distances of 500 meters and 5 km.

Competitions will be held among the following age categories:

  • born in 2014 or later: boys and girls (500 meters)

  • 2012-2013: boys (1 km), girls (500 m)

  • 2010-2011: boys, girls (2.5 km)

  • 2008-2009: boys (5 km), girls (2.5 km)

  • 2006-2007: boys (5 km), girls (2.5 km)

  • 2005-1982: men (5 km), women (2.5 km)

  • 1982 and older: men (5 km), women (2.5 km)

Additionally, the festival will feature competitions in four activities – kettlebell lifting, arm wrestling, belt wrestling, and tug-of-war. A lottery and prize raffle will be organized among spectators and participants at the sports festival. Diplomas, medals, and valuable gifts will be awarded to the winners and prize-winners in each age group.

Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. on December 30. The ski race is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m., and you can sign up for the race at the competition site.


To kick off the winter season, on December 26, Almaty hosted a parade featuring fairy-tale characters that traveled through the city’s central streets, starting at Abay Square and ending at Astana Square. The Ayaz Ata Parade, representing a character akin to Santa Claus in Kazakhstan, has been held for the second consecutive year, establishing itself as a New Year tradition in the southern metropolis.

Sixty people donning red, blue, and white coats congratulated the Almaty crowd on the coming year and handed out gifts and sweets, took pictures with residents and guests of the city.

As part of the Winter New Year Festival, the city has curated a program that runs until December 31, featuring daily performances by renowned artists, bands, and DJs on stages throughout the city.

On Abay Square, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., attendees can enjoy the talents of Abdr, Ayau, Dequine, DJSlimKZ, Nazima, MDee, Miras Zhugunusov, Yenlik, as well as performances by the Grow Kids theater, Galam, and Ava bands.

On Astana Square, a captivating lineup including Ademi, Ali Okapov, Ayree, D-band, Elizat, KeshYotz, Mercury band, IL Canto quartet, and Yerkesh Hasen will take the stage every day from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. DJ AKHMETOFF will be at the helm, treating the audience to an entertaining mix of more than 100 remixes, tracks, and mashups.

The festival will also feature activities for children and raffles off valuable prizes.

Moreover, the Shymbulak mountain resort inaugurated the winter season in celebration of its 70th anniversary. Shymbulak is introducing a new training track at Ak Barsik station designed to teach children to ski. Additionally, there will be family glamping for the children's mountain camp Shymbulak Medeu Camp, a creative hub, and a pop-up park at Ak Barsik.

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