Azerbaijan is a small nation in the Caucasus between Asia and Europe. At a geographic crossroads, the land was ruled by several empires before it became a democratic republic for the first time in 1918 after World War I. However, two years later, it was absorbed into the Soviet Union. In 1991, Azerbaijan arose as a free republic following the Soviet breakdown.
Ethnic Azerbaijani people make up the vast majority of the country's population. They are a mix of Iranian, Turkic, and Caucasian people. Azerbaijan is a secular nation that guarantees religious freedom, even though most of its citizens are Shia Muslims.
If you're planning a trip to Azerbaijan shortly, check out the curated list of the top 9 festivals of Azerbaijan.
We have created a list of the festivals of Azerbaijan so that you can enjoy soaking in the cultural legacy of this awe-inspiring destination. Some of the fantastic festivals of Azerbaijan you should attend are Baku International Jazz Festival, Gabala Music Festival, Pomegranate Festival, Apple Festival, and so on. Brace yourself for an exciting and enduring vacation that's going to be unforgettable.
1. Baku International Jazz Festival | The Biggest Jazz Festival
The Baku International Jazz Festival is a musical festival that includes seminars and masterclasses as well as a schedule of jazz performances and concerts. Local jazz musician Rain Sultanov started the festival, later joined by 115 members from 34 different countries.
2. Gabala Music Festival | Art of Rachmaninoff
Since 2009, the Gabala International Music Festival has been held. It includes concerts of classical music, chamber music, jazz, and other genres and global competition for young pianists. Tbilisi City Hall Jazz Orchestra "BIG-BAND" (Georgia), Jóvenes Clásicos Del Son (Cuba), Baku Chamber Orchestra (Azerbaijan), and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (Israel) are among the world-renowned symphonic and philharmonic orchestras that Gabala hosts during the event. The works of Rachmaninoff, Strauss, Brahms, Schumann, Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Tofig Guliyev, and Vagif Mustafazade, among others, are frequently performed by festival participants.
3. Pomegranate Festival | An Explosion of Flavor and Festivity
Since 2006, the Goychay district has held the Pomegranate Festival in the fall. The exhibition features pomegranate products like narsharab, juice concentrates, jam, jelly, grenadine, wine, and seeds in syrup during the event. Other pomegranate varieties include Veles, Shirin, Gyuleysha, and Shih Baba. Multiple ceremonies, competitions, dancing events, fairs, parades, performances, and other events are included in the festival. In 2020, the Goychay Pomegranate Festival of Azerbaijan was included on the Representative List of Humanity's Intangible Cultural Heritage.
4. Apple Festival | Crisp and Juicy Celebration of Autumn
The Guba district in the northern part of the Republic of Azerbaijan hosts the Apple Festival. The celebration predominantly shows foods grown from the ground, critically apples delivered inside the locale. On the days of the holiday, exhibitions are held in the horticultural capital of Azerbaijan, Quba, where gardeners demonstrate various apple varieties and their products.
Several competitions, such as "the biggest apple" and "the most delicious apple jam," are also included in the event.
5. Gara Garayev International Music Festival | Open-Air Concerts
The Gabala Music Festival is another well-known music festival in Azerbaijan. Every two years, the Gara Garayev International Music Festival honours the well-known Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev. It is co-organized by the Azerbaijani Permanent Mission to UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture. A photo exhibition and documentary films about the composer's life and works are also shown to festival goers. It is an annual classical music festival where musicians perform in the open air. Participants have come from all over the world, including the United States, Europe, and Israel.
6. Uzeyir Hajibeyov International Music Festival | Various Cultural Pieces of Music
Since 2009, the Uzeyir Hajibeyov International Music Festival, in honour of the Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov, has been held in various Azerbaijani cities in September. Major events are held in Baku. Typically, the festival lasts for ten days. At the festival, Azerbaijani musicians perform alongside those from other nations. In addition to concerts, there are performances based on Uzeyir Hajibeyov's compositions and scientific conferences aimed at learning about Hajibeyov's creative heritage. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism are the festival's organisers.
7. "Mugham World" International Mugham Festival | Young Musicians Perform